A terra-cotta bowl that was inscribed with charms and magical texts, used by the ancient Hebrews in parts of Babylonia. The bowl was to drive away evil. The inverted bowls were buried under the four corners of the foundations of houses and buildings. The magic from the bowls was believed to provide protection against an assortment of evils including male and female demons, illnesses, curses, and the evil eye.
The Babylonian devil traps were in usage between the third and first centuries BC to the sixth century AD. They were considered a pagan custom and were technically prohibited by the Hebrew religion which proscribes magic in general. Perhaps to circumvent this religious law the bowls were inscribed with inscriptions invoking the help of God or quotes from Hebrew scriptures.
One bowl from the third century BC. proclaims a “bill of divorce” from the Devil, and all of his night monsters, commanding them to leave the community. A.G.H.