“Sidonian” bottle in the shape of a head - ROM2010_11496_49


“Sidonian” bottle in the shape of a head

Medium:Mould-blown glass
Geography: Syria
Date: about 200-300 AD
Period: Roman Imperial period
7.3 x 4.6 x 3.6 cm
Object number: 950.157.84
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Helen Norton
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East

The rounded body of this small bottle was made in a mould in the form of two human heads set back to back, often referred to as a janiform, or bi-frontal, head flask. Long hair is indicated by rows of globules.

Glassware was one of the primary industries in Syria-Palestine from about 200 BC onward. Thousands of specimens of Syro-Palestinian glass survive: it was a common grave-offering in the rock-cut tombs of the region - until the 5th century AD, when the spread of Christianity changed the local burial practices. Most Roman glass-making techniques likely originated in greater Syria (modern Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, and the Hatay Province of Turkey - referred to by the geographical term Syria-Palestine since Roman times) being transmitted elsewhere by artisans from this region.

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