An Ancient Roman green glass jar with a short, concave-sided neck. The rim of the opening tapers and becomes thinner on one side, possibly to make it easier to pour liquids from the jar. The outside of the jar features a decorative pattern of small ridges and indentations, which would have been added before the glass cooled during the glass blowing process. The inner and outer surfaces both feature some beautiful, light, pearly iridescence.
Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines in antiquity because it was not porous. The small body and mouth allowed the user carefully to pour and control the amount of liquid dispensed. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making, allowing for the production of small medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. These small glass vessels are found frequently at Hellenistic and Roman sites, especially in cemeteries, and the liquids, which filled them, would have been gathered from all corners of the expansive Roman Empire.
The iridescence on ancient Roman glass was unintentional, and was caused by weathering on its surface. The extent to which a glass object weathers depends mainly on the burial conditions; however, the humidity, heat, and type of soil in which the glass was buried also all affect its preservation.
Date: Circa 1st-3rd century AD