Greek unguentarium


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CULTUREGreek, Hellenistic
PERIOD3rd – 1st Century B.C
DIMENSIONS253 mm x 66 mm
CONDITIONGood condition
PROVENANCEEx German private collection, H.L., Rhineland, acquired before 2000s
BIBLIOGRAPHYELÇIN T., Unguentarium As A Ceramic Vessel (2019)

The Unguentarium is a type of ceramic vessel whose use is thought to date back to the Hellenistic period, although it is not known exactly when it originated, it is known that in the 20th century. French archaeologists first named it Unguentarium. These vessels, which are small in size and made in various models, may have thin necks, wide mouths and seal patterns. On the outside, they are likened to a small amphitheatre. There are unguentariums made of ceramic material as well as those made of glass material. When we look at the usage areas, it is understood that various cosmetic products, perfumes, creams made from different plants, massage oils are kept in these containers. These vessels are thought to have been used in religious rituals due to their presence in cemeteries. Sometimes ceramic and glass Unguentarium can be removed together from the same tomb. A few can be found together in the excavation of the grave, as well as tens of others can be found. It is known that very valuable liquids are not transported in terracotta vessels, the reason of they can leak.