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Details about  Ancient Roman Hellenic Syria Glass Ribbed Oil Unguent Perfume Bottle 100AD

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Ancient Roman Hellenic Syria Glass Ribbed Oil Unguent Perfume Bottle 100AD
Ancient-Roman-Hellenic-Syria-Glass-Ribbed-Oil-Unguent-Perfume-Bottle-100AD
Item Ended
Item condition:
--not specified
Ended:
Jan 02, 2014 18:14:08 PST
Price:
US $199.99
Shipping:
FREE Standard Shipping | See details
Item location:
Lummi Island, Washington, United States

Description

eBay item number:
310202730926
Seller assumes all responsibility for this listing.
Last updated on  Sep 23, 2013 00:53:24 PDT  View all revisions
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Genuine Ancient Roman Glass Ribbed Bottle Intact and Unrepaired.

CLASSIFICATION: Ancient Roman Ribbed Glass Bottle.

ATTRIBUTION: Eastern Roman Empire (Syria), 2nd Century A.D.

SIZE/MEASUREMENTS:

Height: 71 millimeters (2 7/8 inches).

Bowl Diameter: 33 millimeters (1 1/3 inches).

Top Lip Diameter: 26 millimeters (1+ inch).

Neck Diameter: 21 millimeters (7/8 inch).

Base Diameter: 23 millimeters (7/8 inch).

Weight: 13.55 grams.

CONDITION: Excellent, no cracks, chips, breakage, or repairs. Fairly uncommon style. Minor scratches and scuffs consistent with use and then burial in soil. Typical iridescence and soil deposits caused by prolonged burial in soil).

DETAIL: This is a very handsome, complete and unrepaired second century A.D. Roman glass ribbed bottle of fairly sizeable dimensions. Most Roman glass vessels recovered complete (intact or repairable) are between 1½ and 3 inches in size. At almost three inches this is near the top of that scale. These small jars, pitchers, unguentariums, jugs, bottles, vials and flasks were used to contain aromatic oils, perfumes, medicinal ointments, and cosmetics. It is not to say that the Romans did not use larger pieces of glass on their tables such as bowls and cups; and even larger containers for transporting foodstuffs; because they did. In fact whatever the Romans had produced in clay in the first and second centuries B.C. was by the first and second centuries A.D. more commonly produced in glass. However the larger pieces of glass are rarely found intact. The Romans for instance produced fluted, engraved, multi-tiered, and cut glass bowls of fantastic quality and design – and only a few intact specimens have ever been recovered intact. In fact even the smaller pieces such as this are rarely recovered intact except as grave goods.

This piece as you can see has a pronounced but poorly defined (rather primitively shaped) lip, and very distinct vertical ribs. While the style is not rare, it is certainly less common than the more often found, plain and undecorated jars and pots. The bottle possesses some pearly iridescence, as well as some soil deposits both inside and outside the bottle. It was of course carefully cleaned, but some of the soil adhesions are pretty stubborn. They could be cleaned off by someone very patient and persistent, but as it is, the bottle is very beautiful. It is unrepaired, with no cracks, chips, or breakage. The ribbing is a little on the primitive side, but not uncommonly so. It’s a truly remarkable and authentic ancient glass vessel from the Roman Province of Syria. If you wish to display it, it would look very nice in a shadow box or plaque. If you so desire we can provide a framed plaque and mount the artifact for you (so that it could be removed without damage at a later date) – or we could also mount it into a glass-fronted shadow box.

If you did choose to have the bottle mounted on a plaque or shadow box, you would be quite pleased by the outcome. You can see an example of a framed display plaque (here). The plaque narrates a brief outline of the history of ancient Rome along with an image of some very famous architectural remains in Rome. Mounted as a plaque the artifact would make a very handsome gift, for yourself or a friend, and would surely delight a son or daughter. It would not only make a very handsome display, but would be very educational as well. If you prefer, the artifact could be installed within a glass-front shadow box with or without printed history (see it here). Whether simply displayed as it is, or mounted into a shadow box or plaque, this is a wonderfully significant artifact of that magnificent empire which spanned Europe from the Atlantic to the Black Sea. It is sure to make someone very pleased.

HISTORY OF ROMAN SYRIA: The Roman Province of Syria lay directly South of Mesopotamia and further North, Armenia. The Parthians, famous for their mounted archer warriors, had been a constant challenge for the Greeks as well as the Romans. The region was first conquered by the Romans under Emperor Trajan during the Parthian war of A.D. 114-117, although as early as 55 A.D. the Parthians and Romans had struggled over control of Armenia. Half a century later Marcus Aurelius (the elderly Emperor of “Gladiator”) was engaged in another war against the Parthains. And yet again in A.D. 195 and 197-199 the Emperor Septimius Severus engaged the Parthians. In A.D. 224-226 the Parthian state was overthrown by the Sassanids who founded the Persian Empire. Their first Emperor Ardashir proved to be both aggressive and ambitious, aiming to wrest Mesopotamia, Cappadocia to the West, Armenia to the North, and Syria to the South from Roman control.

Between an offensive in A.D. 230 and A.D. 241 the Sassanians overran much of Mesopotamia as far west as Antiochia, the capital city of the Roman province of Syria. The Romans launched a counteroffensive in A.D. 243 under Emperor Gordian III, and Gordian’s successor “Phillip the Arab” concluded a peace treaty in A.D. 244. However Aradashir’s son, Shapur I (“the Great”) launched another war in A.D. 252 which was to go on for years, culminating in the capture of the Roman Emperor Valerian in A.D. 260. Accounts of the time state that for the remainder of his life Valerian remained in captivity, serving as Shapur’s foot stool whenever he mounted or dismounted his horse. It took the campaigns of Valerian’s successors, Aurelian, Carus, and Galerius to restore Roman control to the area by the end of the third century A.D. The Romans again controlled the region until A.D. 363 when a crumbling Rome relinquished control of the area to the Persians. It was in this world that this little artifact was created, used, and eventually lost; though it remains a testament to the world that was Rome.

The oldest known communities in Mesopotamia are thought to date from 9,000 B.C., and include the ancient city of Babylon. Several civilizations flourished in the fertile area created as the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flow south out of Turkey. The river valleys and plains of Mesopotamia, often referred to as the “fertile crescent”, lay between the two rivers, which are about 250 miles apart from one another. The ancient Sumerians and Babylonians were inhabitants of Mesopotamia, located in a region that included parts of what is now eastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and most of Iraq, lay between two rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. According to the Bible, Abraham came from this area. The area is commonly referred to as "the fertile crescent" by historians and archaeologists. By 4,000 B.C. large cities had grown up in the region. Considered one of the cradles of civilization, the region is referred to frequently in The Bible, and is mentioned as the birthplace of Abraham. The region produced the first written records, as well as the wheel.

The region was conquered by the Akkadians in the 24th century B.C. who ruled for about two centuries. The ancient city of Ur controlled the region for the next two centuries until about 2,000 B.C. Mesopotamia was not again united until about 1750 B.C., then the Kingdom of Babylon arose and reigned supreme in the area for about one and one-half centuries. The Babylonians in turn were conquered by Hittites from Turkey in about 1595 B.C. The longest control of the area was by the ancient Assyrians, who ruled the area from about 1350 B.C. through about 600 B.C. After a brief interlude of chaos, the Persians conquered the area and held it for three centuries until Persian and all of its territories were conquered by Alexander the Great in the last 4th century B.C. However the Greeks only held the region for about one century, before it again fell to the Persians. The Persians and Romans wrestled over the area for a number of centuries. Finally in the 7th century A.D. the area of Mesopotamia fell to the Islamic Empire.

ROMAN HISTORY: One of the greatest civilizations of recorded history was the ancient Roman Empire. In exchange for a very modest amount of contemporary currency, you can possess a small part of that great civilization in the form of a 2,000 year old ancient Roman artifact. The Roman civilization, in relative terms the greatest military power in the history of the world, was founded in the 8th century (B.C.). In the 4th Century (B.C.) the Romans were the dominant power on the Italian Peninsula, having defeated the Etruscans and Celts. In the 3rd Century (B.C.) the Romans conquered Sicily, and in the following century defeated Carthage, and controlled the Greece. Throughout the remainder of the 2nd Century (B.C.) the Roman Empire continued its gradual conquest of the Hellenistic (Greek Colonial) World by conquering Syria and Macedonia; and finally came to control Egypt in the 1st Century (B.C.)

The pinnacle of Roman power was achieved in the 1st Century (A.D.) as Rome conquered much of Britain and Western Europe. At its peak, the Roman Empire stretched from Britain in the West, throughout most of Western, Central, and Eastern Europe, and into Asia Minor. For a brief time, the era of “Pax Romana”, a time of peace and consolidation reigned. Civilian emperors were the rule, and the culture flourished with a great deal of liberty enjoyed by the average Roman Citizen. However within 200 years the Roman Empire was in a state of steady decay, attacked by Germans, Goths, and Persians. The decline was temporarily halted by third century Emperor Diocletian. In the 4th Century (A.D.) the Roman Empire was split between East and West. The Great Emperor Constantine again managed to temporarily arrest the decay of the Empire, but within a hundred years after his death the Persians captured Mesopotamia, Vandals infiltrated Gaul and Spain, and the Goths even sacked Rome itself. Most historians date the end of the Western Roman Empire to 476 (A.D.) when Emperor Romulus Augustus was deposed. However the Eastern Roman Empire (The Byzantine Empire) survived until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D.

In the ancient world valuables such as coins and jewelry were commonly buried for safekeeping, and inevitably the owners would succumb to one of the many perils of the ancient world. Oftentimes the survivors of these individuals did not know where the valuables had been buried, and today, thousands of years later caches of coins and rings are still commonly uncovered throughout Europe and Asia Minor. Throughout history these treasures have been inadvertently discovered by farmers in their fields, uncovered by erosion, and the target of unsystematic searches by treasure seekers. With the introduction of metal detectors and other modern technologies to Eastern Europe in the past three or four decades, an amazing number of new finds are seeing the light of day thousands of years after they were originally hidden by their past owners. And with the liberalization of post-Soviet Eastern Europe, new markets have opened eager to share in these ancient treasures.

GLASS HISTORY: Naturally occurring glass, especially the volcanic glass obsidian, has been used since the Stone Age in many localities across the globe for the production of sharp cutting tools and, due to its limited source areas, was extensively traded. With respect to man-made glass, the ancient Romans were the first to mass produce glass articles, and this included glass jewelry and gemstones. In the ancient world, glass jewelry was very costly, not only for the ancient Romans, but particular so going back another 3,000 years further to ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Sumeria. Though glass jewelry, especially gemstones and beads, have been fashioned for perhaps 5,000 years, very little is known about the production of glass in the ancient world.

Perhaps about 4,000 B.C. the ancient Egyptians started fashioning amulets, beads, and small vessels out of a material known as “faience”, an ancient precursor of glass created by crushing quartz sand and mixing it with an alkali binder and mineral oxides to provide color. The discovery of the techniques for producing glass was probably the accidental byproduct of the ancient production of faience. Ancient lumps of glass have been discovered in the area of ancient Mesopotamia, as well as ancient Syria and Egypt, dating as far back as 4,000 B.C. Written records from ancient Mesopotamia refer to the manufacture of glass, describing the manufacturing process as difficult and a closely-guarded secret. Initially ancient glass vessels were produced in with the use of molds of forms. Some of the earliest surviving examples were from the 15th century B.C. tombs of the wives of ancient Egypt’s Pharaoh Thutmose III. Glass beads dating to about 1,800 B.C. were produced by the Indus Valley Civilization.

Around 1,500 B.C. two new production techniques gave rise to more frequent manufacture of glass in Egypt and Mesopotamia, as well as in Minoan Crete and Mycenaean Greece. Both techniques involved the use of molten glass rods, either wrapped around a mud core, or placed within a mold. However the end product was still nonetheless frightfully expensive and the process both lengthy and labor-intensive. The disasters that overtook Late Bronze Age civilizations seem to have brought glass-making to a halt. It picked up again in its former sites, as well as in Syria and Cyprus, in the 9th century B.C., when the techniques for making colorless glass were discovered. The first glassmaking "manual" dates back to about 650 B.C., in cuneiform tablets discovered in the library of the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. In Egypt glass-making did not revive until it was reintroduced in third century B.C. Ptolemaic Alexandria. During the Greek Hellenistic (colonizing) period many new techniques of glass production were introduced and glass began to be used to make larger pieces, notably table wares.

The term “glass” originated in the late Roman Empire in the Roman glassmaking center at Trier, now in modern Germany. The Romans utilized glass in domestic, industrial and funerary contexts. Glass was used primarily for the production of vessels, although mosaic tiles, window glass, jewelry, beads and gemstones were also produced. Roman glass production developed from Hellenistic technical traditions, initially concentrating on the production of intensely colored cast glass vessels. However, during the 1st century AD the industry underwent rapid technical growth that saw the introduction of glass blowing techniques (introduced a century earlier in Palestine and Syria), wherein a blob of molten glass was inflated either free form or into a mold by blowing through a hollow metal blowpipe. Glass blowing became widespread during the later Roman Empire, and with it the dominance of colorless or “aqua” colored glass, and the inexpensive process created huge demand for glass products, including jewelry.

Syria became the "glass factory" of the Roman Empire and glassware came to be widely disseminated throughout the Roman Empire (if you would like to learn more about ancient Roman/Syrian glass, there are two wonderful websites to start you on your voyage here and here). Roman glass ware which had already been traded as far as China and Western Asia (Roman glass has been found in first century B.C. tombs in China as well as what was Parthian Persia) now came to be exported throughout the known world in vast quantity. Glassblowing allowed glass workers to produce vessels with considerably thinner walls, decreasing the amount of glass needed for each vessel. Glass blowing was also considerably quicker than other techniques, and vessels required considerably less finishing, representing a further saving in time, raw material and equipment. Although earlier techniques dominated during the early first century A.D., by the middle to late first century earlier production techniques had been largely abandoned in favor of blowing.

Glass making reached its peak at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., with glass objects in domestic contexts of every kind. An eight ton glass slab uncovered by archaeologists indicates that glass was being produced in very large batches contained in tanks situated inside highly specialized furnaces. Glass was seemingly manufactured on a large scale by a limited number of workshops, and then broken into chunks for distribution to a multitude of local producers of end products. Otherwise there is only limited evidence for small-scale local glass manufacture, and only in context of window glass. The first-century A.D. Roman Naturalist and Historian “Pliny the Elder” documented the furnace-production of molten glass and the development of related production technologies.

The Roman writers Statius and Martial both indicate that recycling broken glass was an important part of the glass industry, and that quantities of broken glassware were concentrated at local sites prior to melting back into raw glass. This is supported by the fact that only rarely are glass fragments of any size recovered by archaeologists from domestic sites of this period. With respect to glass jewelry, it is well known that the Romans and their successors in the East, the Byzantines (and Eastern Europe in general), were very fond of elaborate jewelry and other personal adornments. Typical jewelry included bracelets worn both on the forearm as well as upper arm, rings, earrings, and pendants, and in the classical world, glass jewelry was just as costly its counterparts made in gold and/or gemstones.

Though introduced in first century A.D. Alexandria, the use of glass windows gained widespread popularity in the 6th and 7th centuries A.D. throughout Europe, mostly in conjunction with churches and royal structures. In the 8th century A.D. glass was described in Arab poetry, and in another 8th century book a Persian chemist recorded 46 recipes for colored glass (a later edition of the book included 12 additional recipes). By the 11th century clear glass mirrors were being produced in Islamic Spain. In Germany the 11th century saw the introduction of a technique which mass-produced thin sheet glass, and in the 12th century the use of stained glass rapidly became an important medium in Romanesque and Gothic art. However the mass-production of glass during the era of the Roman Empire was not matched by the modern world until the advent of the industrial revolution. Glass remained expensive through the 17th century, and glass gemstones though less expensive than natural gemstones, were still expensive. The “gemstones” in the least expensive “costume” jewelry were generally made from colored amber. Excepting of course genuine precious and semi-precious gemstones, glass “gemstones” were still the domain of relatively more costly pieces.

Due to its fragile nature this particular piece is shipped in an oversized box with lots of Styrofoam peanuts. Domestic shipping (insured first class mail) is included in the price shown. Domestic shipping also includes USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site). Canadian shipments are an extra $2.99 for Insured Air Mail; International shipments are an extra $7.99 for Air Mail (and generally are NOT tracked; trackable shipments are EXTRA). ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers.

We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. If you intend to pay via PayPal, please be aware that PayPal Protection Policies REQUIRE insured, trackable shipments, which is included in our price (international tracking is at additional cost). We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs).

Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology.

I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."


On May-11-13 at 02:31:40 PDT, seller added the following information:

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