Glass funerary urn, with fragments of bones, Western Europe, 1-200 CE

1-200 CE in Europe

Glass funerary urn, with fragments of bones, Roman, Western Europe, 1-200AD

Inside this small Roman glass cinerary (or cremation) urn are fragments of human bone. It dates from the 1st or 2nd century CE and is made of blown glass. This technique developed around the end of the 1st century BCE and it enabled the production of intricate and symmetrical shapes.

Cremation was perhaps the most common form of burial among Romans at this time. It was largely replaced by burial by the 4th century CE. Urns like this help historians understand the mortuary customs of past civilisations, while the bones give scientists information about the people themselves.


Classical & Medieval Medicine
Object Number:
content, bones and urn, glass
overall (with lid): 347 mm 240 mm, 1.806 kg
human remains
  • furnishing and equipment
  • container - receptacle
  • ceremonial container
Wellcome Trust

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