Canterbury Roman Museum has many beautiful and unusual examples of Roman glassware. The collection is exceptional for a regional museum. Excavations in Canterbury and East Kent have produced a very wide range of Romano-British glass vessels and fragments, dating from the mid-first century AD to at least the end of the fourth century.
Roman glass was hand-blown not cast. Sand (silica) was melted at high temperature and the molten glass picked up on a long metal tube through which air was blown, inflating the glass like a balloon. The glass could be blown into a mould or shaped and decorated while soft.
There are several large greenish-blue glass vessels from the first century AD re-used as cinerary urns to contain cremated remains in a burial. Smaller jugs, bowls and cups, of greenish-blue and brown glass, were included among burial goods and survived almost intact until discovery in the 19th century. Some have ribbed or applied decoration. A pair of unusual glass bangles were found by workmen digging for brick earth at Milton Regis church, Sittingbourne, in the late 19th century.
Roman glass bottle. © UKC