Unguentaria were small perfume or cosmetics bottles made of blown glass. They were extremely popular throughout the Roman Empire, since they contained perfume and oil, considered precious at the time and often used both in private life and public ceremonies. This type of vessels was probably used in funerary and burial rituals, hence their frequent occurrence in archaeological excavations of ancient cemeteries. Large bottles, such as this fine example, are a rare find.
To discover more about the types and uses of unguentaria, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Glass: Unguentaria and Cosmetics.