Flagon - ROM2010_11646_9

ROM2010_11646_9

Flagon

Medium:Blown glass with trailed strap-handle
Geography: Syria-Palestine
Date: about 200-300 AD
Period: Roman Imperial period
Dimensions:
19.3 x 4.8 cm
Object number: 950.157.91
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Helen Norton
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East
Description

The iridescent surface of some 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.

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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