Sparkles From The Deep
The Late Roman Imperial Period (3rd - 4th Century AD)
There are a few pieces of glassware from the Late Roman Imperial Period (3rd
-4th century AD) in The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Some of them
are bottles and jugs with funnel-shaped mouths and trailing fiber decorations
have no handles and were presumably held by the neck. Another special piece from
this period was the gutturnium, a globe-shaped jug with long parallel line
decorations done with a wheel-cutter. To reduce the amount of spillage from
these jugs, the interior was fitted with a divider piece between the neck and
body. This kind of glassware was made in Syria in the 3rd century. The exact
origin of single gutturnium in The Museum of Bodrum is unknown.
One of the Late Imperial Period items on display in The Museum of Bodrum is a
bowl with a cylindrical body and no base; it was found in Milas. These were
plain glass dishes for everyday use and were probably produced locally. Some of
the Late Roman Imperial Period bowls were used as drinking vessels.
Similarly-made vessels were also used as oil lamps for lighting. Especially
famous are the ones decorated with blue dots (see. M.Stern, 1977, Nr. 41, Pl.4).
Another historically significant bowl from the Late Roman Imperial Period was
also found in Karanis, Egypt, although those bowls have yellow and lilac-colored
line decorations. (D.B. Harden, 1988, p.99, fig.41). The bowl on display in The
Museum of Bodrum was most likely produced in a nearby area for everyday use.
There are still two examples of glassware with printed ornamentation in The
Bodrum Museum. The origin of the first specimen is not known, the other was
found in Marmaris. There is indented decoration made by hot-press on all four
surfaces of these bowls. There is speculation that these indents were made, not
so much for decorative purposes, but in order to provide a more secure grip
(C.Lightfoot, 1992, p.99, fig.52).
One intact jug and some broken glass fragments were found during the
excavation of the Late Roman Yassıada shipwreck in 1969. This yellow-colored,
mold-blown jug was able to be dated accurately because it was part of an
excavation. The intact jug was dated to the end of the 4th century or the
beginning of 5th century AD, and is characteristic of the Late Roman Imperial
period (see. George F.Bass and F.van Doorninck, 1975, p.37, fig.37).
A small jug found in the excavations of the Late Roman Shipwreck was probably
a piece of everyday dinnerware. The Yassıada jug was made by mold-blowing and
has vertical ribbed reliefs on its body. Glass threads were wrapped around the
neck to give it extra strength.
During the excavation of the 7th century AD East Roman shipwreck in Yassıada
between 1961 and 1964, a few fragments from the bottom and neck of a clear glass
bottle were recovered. The edges of relief ornamentation can be seen on the
lower part of this bottle, which remains on display in the East Roman Ship Hall.
One of two unguentariums from the Late Roman Imperial period were found in
the excavations of Stratonikeia in 1983. It has a mouth for pouring and a
special design. The second bottle is a cylindrical unguentarium which was found
in the excavations of Euromos in 1972. These findings show us that, although
less frequent than in the past, perfume bottles were still being produced in the
Late Imperial Age. Also included among findings from the Late Roman Imperial
Period was a funnel-rimmed bottle found in Marmaris and some small, nondescript
bottles. Another piece that was purchased as an addition to the museum
collection is one that belongs to the Islamic Period. It has raised relief
A group of bracelets completes the collection of glassware from this period
in The Bodrum Museum. It is very difficult to date these items, because they
were not part of an excavation. Similar bracelets were found with other Late
Roman Imperial Period dishes; for this reason, they are believed to be of this
period (see. C.Lightfoot 1992, p.10, fig.159-160). It is also thought that this
type of bracelet could belong to the Byzantine period.