Strigil with flower motif - ROM2010_11687_67


Strigil with flower motif

Medium:Bronze, wrought and soldered, with punched decoration
Geography: Israel or Palestine
Date: 1st-2nd century AD?
Period: Roman Imperial period
20.6 cm
Object number: 910.239.11
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East
DescriptionA strigil is a device used in ancient Greece and Rome to clean the body before effective soaps were introduced from the more civilised cultures of the Middle East. This strigil may form part of a hoard of objects. They were acquired from J. Vester & Co of Jerusalem in 1910, although they were shipped to the ROM from Damascus. The group was allegedly found at a site called "Sioufi" and although it is debateable where that is, it is presumably in Greater Syria (including modern Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, and Antioch). The group as a whole has strong parallels with another hoard found in the Cave of the Letters near the Dead Sea, where the assemblage is dated to the time of the Bar Kochba revolt (132-135 AD). Like the Cave of the Letters finds, the objects are strongly Roman in design, although possibly made locally. If this is from a hoard, then it is very likely to have been deposited during a time of unrest, such as the Bar Kochba revolt, or the First Jewish-Roman War of 66-73 AD. During these times uprisings by the local population were met with brutal and bloody suppression by the Roman authorities, and under such circumstances it would not be unusual for the person who deposited the hoard to be incapable of returning to retrieve their hidden property.
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