Samples of Roman unguentaria from a typological perspective from the Coastal Region of Syria (Latakia city)

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Typology, Roman Syria, Unguentaria, Double-bulges, Latakia


This paper covers a small group of functional types of glass unguentaria dating back to Roman period that an archaeologist may encounter. Additionally, it primarily presents new, previously unexamined glass specimens unearthed, the unguentaria are classified typologically by shape, and all specimens discussed herein have been recovered from the Syrian Coastal Region (mainly Latakia).

Although the samples of glassware from the Roman period selected by the author may seem insufficient for comprehensive research, the main objective of this article is to provide a reliable presentation of glass unguentaria prevalent throughout Roman Syria at the mentioned sites. In addition, this article provides an explanation, documentation, and classification of Roman period unguentaria pieces based on their archaeological context.

The period from the 1st century to the end of the 3rd century AD is considered to be the height of Roman glass production, usage, and distribution; with glass becoming so ubiquitous in all daily matters of Roman life. Additionally, their use in funerary rites became more prevalent. Academic consensus on the topic of Roman glass in general, and on unguentaria in particular; suggests that they were mainly used to hold and store scented oils, cosmetic products, perfumes, and/or sacred perfumed ointments. Further, the common reoccurrence of ¬specimens at burial sites confirms their roles as votive offerings in tombs during funerary religious rites.  Despite being commonplace objects, and despite the variations in their styles, research into the location and significance of glass production centers around the Mediterranean remains lacking.


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How to Cite

Hammoud, S. (2024). Samples of Roman unguentaria from a typological perspective from the Coastal Region of Syria (Latakia city). JOURNAL OF AWARENESS, 9(1), 201–212.



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