- Pilgrim flasks (ampullae) of various materials contained oil, water, or earth from a holy site for use as amulets (q.v.), or for supposed medicinal purposes. Well-known types include Menas flasks from Abu Mina (qq.v.), and small pottery flasks called ungentaria. Pilgrim tokens and medallions, made of sanctified earth and stamped with a blessing or with an image of a saint, were valued for the same reasons.
Historical Dictionary of Byzantium . John H. Rosser .
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