WHITEHALL ROMAN VILLA AND LANDSCAPE PROJECT

 

 


Glass

Summary by Stephen Young based on conversations with Jennifer Price who is currently examining the glass assemblage.

The sealed bathhouse contexts yielded a collection of twenty to thirty vessels, most likely dating from the late 3rd to mid 4th centuries AD. There is a good range of drinking vessels and a number of blue-green bowls. In addition the assemblage contains some bottles and at least one flagon.

One conical beaker has an engraved figure of a gladiator. The beaker has a cracked off rim and probably originated in the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire. Enough evidence survives to suggest that there were two figures involved in the scene ie a matched pair of gladiators. The assemblage also contains a dark brown/black everted fire-rounded rim cup or jar of the late 2nd to 3rd century AD. This a common form in the north-western provinces and has been found in many cemeteries. The greenish colour hemispherical cups with cracked off rims and pulled out points on the body are also fairly common in the north-western provinces.

The assemblage contains two types of Roman window glass - i.e. poured and blown. The latter is most likely 4th century in date, and of the two types is more common. At least this suggests that windows and light played an important part in the design of the villa building. The sheer amount of discarded glass also indicates the absence of a glass manufacturer in the area as often glass fragments were collected together for recycling. A consumption pattern which can afford to discard such a resource reflects an affluent estate of some means.

Glass fragment with gladiator inscribed

Found in the bath house.

Look here for lots more about the "Gladiator Glass"

Blue roman bead

Found in the bath house.

Fragments of glass vessels

There are three glass vessels shown here. The two fragments at the bottom of the picture are from flagons. The top fragment is possibly from a bowl from its fine rolled rim.The bowl fragment is very fine glass.

It is not very common to find fragment of glass vessels on a site, as the Romans were early 'recyclers'. Broken glass would be melted down and re-worked into new vessels.

Found in the bath house.

Green glass ungent flask

Also shown above. This fine vessel may have contained liquid or oil.

Found in the bath house.

Green glass fragment of flask with self-coloured trail

This fragment shows a simple but effective decoration. Thin trails of glass from which the body of the flask was made were wound around the vessel before it cooled.

Found in the bath house.


back to Material Culture main page

Copyright of this web site, including all text and images (except where otherwise stated), belongs to The Whitehall Farm Roman Villa and Landscape Project. No part of this website may be reproduced in any form without the prior permission of the Project.

Web site design and construction by oliomedia