Clio’s Object of the Week: A Rare Roman Glass Marbled Unguentarium, Early 1st Century AD

This week’s featured object is a lovely marbled glass bottle sometimes referred to as an unguentarium, from “unguent” meaning a salve or ointment, though in the Roman world this would most commonly have been a scented oil either for personal use or for funerary rites. Reassembled from a few large fragments, like most of its… Read More Clio’s Object of the Week: A Rare Roman Glass Marbled Unguentarium, Early 1st Century AD

Distant Connections: Contact and Object Exchange Between Mediterranean and Far East Asian Civilizations in the First Few Centuries CE

Two news items appeared in the popular press during the second half of September, 2016 that addressed recent discoveries of possible East Asian migrants in a Roman period cemetery in London and Late Roman coins found in excavations of a Medieval castle on the Japanese island of Okinawa. While some aspects of the initial excavation… Read More Distant Connections: Contact and Object Exchange Between Mediterranean and Far East Asian Civilizations in the First Few Centuries CE

A Large Late Roman Trail Decorated Barrel Shaped Glass Bead 4th-5th Century AD

Our featured item of the week is a large and impressive example of a Late Roman to Early Byzantine barrel shaped glass bead, appearing black, decorated in both red and yellow trails. A set of four double trails of applied red divide the bead into a series of registers, each with a thick zig-zag trail… Read More A Large Late Roman Trail Decorated Barrel Shaped Glass Bead 4th-5th Century AD

Our Object the the Week: A Merovingian Frankish Silver and Glass Buckle, Late 5th – 6th Century AD

This week we have selected a superb silver and glass buckle from Late Antiquity. This object was made at the moment in history when the Western European provinces of the Roman Empire were slipping further from centralised authority and becoming the de facto semi-barbarian kingdoms of the Franks, Visigoths, Saxons and others. Our object dates… Read More Our Object the the Week: A Merovingian Frankish Silver and Glass Buckle, Late 5th – 6th Century AD

Greek Antiquities in the British Museum, London

The recent decision by The British Museum to send a single sculpture from the famed Parthenon Marbles (or Elgin Marbles) on loan briefly to the Hermitage in Russia, causing outrage in Greece, has once again drawn attention to issues of cultural heritage relating to antiquities. Whatever the merits of the arguments put forward by those… Read More Greek Antiquities in the British Museum, London