<Virtual Museum

Glass Vessels


There are a number of fragments of blue green glass vessels in the museum. Many of these pieces seem to come from quite large square or rectangular bottles with one or two handles. Bottles like this were used for transportation of liquids and storage in the kitchen and the regular shape would have made it easy for such vessels to be carried in wooden or wicker crates. Stoppers would have been made of wood or cork. Glass was also especially good for storing herbs and spices which were used extensively in Roman cookery.


These vessels would have been relatively straightforward to make in standard sizes. After forming the basic shape and neck part they were finished by blowing the glass into a mould. Afterwards the glass on the neck was folded outwards, to hold the stopper in place, and one or two handles attached whilst the glass was still hot and malleable. Handles could be plain or ribbed. In the collection at Wall you can see the neck of one jar and several ribbed handles and some plain glass from the body and base of one or more vessels.

Many intact bottles like this have been found in Roman cemeteries where they were used to hold cremated remains. It may be that this was a convenient secondary use. Many of these vessels are thought to date from the 1st and 2nd century AD.

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