ANCIENT ROMAN BRONZE MEAT HOOK
Measurements: 10.7 cm − height, 1.4 cm − width
Description: A Roman bronze meat hook, consisting of a gently curving shaft with two opposing teeth, and a circular suspension loop. These tools had a Greek origin and are associated with the Homeric πεμπώβολον (a hook used at sacrificial burnings). The scholiast on Aristophanes (Equit. 772) describes an iron fingered flesh hook as resembling a hand with fingers bent inward. These were used to extract meat from a boiling cauldron and were commonly made in both bronze and iron. However, this piece's suspension loop suggests that its use came from suspending meat, either for smoking or curing. The Roman gourmet Apicius mentions a sausage-making technique involving hanging, and preserved meats were even part of religious traditions.
Reference: Harcum, C. G., 1921, 'Roman Cooking Utensils in the Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology', in American Journal of Archaeology 25, pp. 48-51.
Period: 1st - 3rd century AD
Condition: Very fine, with patination over the whole.