By Dr Joanne Berry
Last updated 2011-02-17
This photograph illustrates a selection of glass vessels that have been discovered at Pompeii. The bowl and saucepan-like vessels probably were used as part of a dinner service. The bottle and small jar probably would have been storage vessels.
Glass vessels were relatively rare in antiquity, becoming more readily available with the development of glass blowing towards the end of the first century BC. From that time, the increased speed of production greatly increased the number of glass vessels in circulation.
A large number of glass vessels have been found at Pompeii, probably manufactured locally. Glass would have been popular because it was cheap, resistant to heat and did not contaminate its contents with bad tastes or smells. Its smooth, impermeable surface meant it could be cleaned easily, allowing it to be re-used (which was not always possible with unglazed ceramic vessels).
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