REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

The Middle Roman Imperial Period (2nd - 3rd Century AD)

Sparkles From The Deep

The Middle Roman Imperial Period (2nd - 3rd Century AD)

Glass specimens in The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology from the Middle Roman Imperial Period are dated from the end of the 1st century to the beginning of the 3rd century AD. It is very difficult to date glassware which came to the museum by means other than excavation. Some types of glassware were greatly admired and used throughout the entire Roman period; some types were produced for only a short time. There are a few drinking cups from the Middle Roman Imperial period in The Museum of Bodrum. Bowls, with or without a base, were for daily use. A decorated jug on display in The Museum of Bodrum is one example of the luxury glass of that age.

There is only one miniature jar in the museum’s collection. These miniature jars were found in the excavations of Anavarza. It is accepted knowledge that these were left in graves with perfume inside (M.Stern, 1989, p.602, photo 11).

The Bodrum Museum has single specimens of globular and cylindrical-shaped bottles, used as dinnerware, and of square bottles, used as storage containers. Only the ones with collared rims and globular bodies were produced in the workshops around Karia. Another cylindrical body-shaped bottle was found in a tomb during the excavation of Kaunos. The smaller of these bottles were used for storing perfume; the bigger ones were used for medicine. Similar bottles were found in the tomb of a chemist in Syria (see. M.Stern, 1989, p.603-604). A cylindrical-shaped large bottle found in Marmaris, along with other items, are examples of the luxury goods of that age. A ribbed-bottle, found with the cylindrical bottle, was dated to the 1st century AD. It is quite natural that these glass specimens were found in different places. The handled, cylindrical-shaped bottle or jug was used in daily life, as dinnerware. Some of the glass of this kind is in the form of urns, which were used to store the ashes after cremation. These urns are seen mostly in central Europe (D.B. Harden, 1988, p.96-97, fig.38-39). This glass item is among the finest on display at The Museum of Bodrum.

There is only one square bottomed bottle in The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Square bottomed bottles were used for storage purposes. This square bottomed bottle in the museum is made using the half-mold blowing technique. There are four hop-nails around the relief grooves in the center of its base.

Perfume bottles make up the majority of the glass items from the Middle Roman Imperial Period in The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. One example is the candlestick-shaped unguentariums, which are free-standing. More common types were cone-shaped, bell-shaped, triangular and flat-triangular-shaped perfume bottles. All were made by free-blowing and have a light blue-green colour. These were used as both daily-ware and funeral gifts, and were sold filled with perfume in ancient city markets or shops.

All of them were locally produced in a short amount of time and were relatively inexpensive.

The Bodrum Museum’s glass specimens from 2nd century AD were generally made for storage purposes or for daily use as dinnerware and produced in or near the region of Karia, for example in the Aegean region.