One handled flagon - ROM2010_11646_5

ROM2010_11646_5

One handled flagon

Medium:Blown glass with trailed handle
Geography: Syro-Palestine
Date: about 50 AD
Period: Roman Imperial period
Dimensions:
11 x 7.8 cm
Object number: 950.157.46
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Helen Norton
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East
Description

Glassware was one of the primary industries in the Near East 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 advent of Christianity changed the local burial practices. Most Roman glass-making techniques likely originated in Syria or Palestine, being transmitted elsewhere by artisans from this region.

The iridescent surface of ancient glass is the result of decay. Humidity fluctuations and acidic soil conditions cause a gradual eating-away of the surface as the glass breaks down into its natural components. A refractive film of decay builds up, producing the rainbow colours.


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