Home » Very rare Roman glass vase with embossed inscription found » Science News

Very rare Roman glass vase with embossed inscription found » Science News

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Very rare Roman glass vase with embossed inscription found » Science News

According to the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research, a rare vase from the late Roman period was discovered in central France during excavations of an ancient tomb.

In a virtual press conference following its discovery, archaeologist Michel Kasprzyk called it the “first complete specimen discovered to date in Gaul,” referring to the Celtic tribes that inhabited Western Europe around the 4th century and eventually fell under Roman rule. The artefact is a diatretic vase, i.e. made of reticulated glass. it contained traces of ambergris, oils, plants and flowers. According to Kasprzyk, only 10 intact diatretic vessels have been recovered, the last of which was found in North Macedonia in the 1970s. The glass vase recovered in the French city of Autun is the first discovered in the ancient territories of Gaul. It measures approximately 10cm high and 15cm in diameter and is decorated with an embossed message that reads “Vivas feliciter” or “live happily”. The deputy director of the excavations, Nicolas Tisserand, said during the conference that for now the piece will be “kept away from light, in drastic safety conditions, before being studied and meticulously restored”.

According to an article that appeared in Le Figaro, excavations were carried out in the Gallic necropolis near Saint-Pierre l’Estrier, one of the oldest Christian churches in Burgundy. Around 150 lots were unearthed at the site, leading to the discovery of sandstone sarcophagi and lead and wooden coffins. A number of precious gems, furniture and jewellery, including small gold earrings probably made for a child, were also discovered. “These exceptional and extremely rare discoveries represent interesting avenues for studying the early Christianized Autun aristocracy at the beginning of the 4th century,” Kasprzyk said. The entire site, which includes an 11th-century basilica and monastery, has been studied by archaeologists and historians since the mid-1970s due to its rich heritage of local and regional history. In 1979 the religious structure was declared a historical monument.

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