All About Glass

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Bottle with Handles

Listen as curator David Whitehouse describes a glass bottle with handles. Although glass vessels were never as cheap as earthenware, they had several advantages. They were easy to clean, they did not impart an odor to their contents, and they allowed one to see the contents even when the vessel was sealed. Thanks to glassblowing, the Romans were able to make large vessels for storing liquids and other perishable goods. Bottles with a broad cylindrical body and a wide strap handle were commonly used, especially in the western provinces of the Roman Empire. Examples have been found all over the Roman Empire. These finds suggest that the bottles came into use in the second quarter of the first century AD During the Flavian period (AD 69--117), square and cylindrical bottles were especially popular.