VM_365 Day 132 Roman glass from Minster Villa

Roman window and vessel glass
Roman window and vessel glass

The image for day 132 of VM_365 is a selection of the fine glass fragments that were found in the excavations at the Roman Villa at Minster in Thanet.

No complete vessels were recovered from the site, but the fragments of sheet glass and the small pieces of vessel glass, including body sherds bases and rims, tell us that glass was as common on this site as it was on any other Roman building, where glass is sometimes better represented more completely in the archaeological record.

The glass sherds are in a range of colours, most commonly blues, greens and clear. One rare sherd is made from canes of glass in different colours welded into a muti-coloured pattern on the body of a vessel.

Typically for glass of this period the sherds are hard and clear, demonstrating the Roman’s mastery of glass making and the frequency with which glassware was used on the table and windows were used in their buildings.

Large sheets of glass were difficult to make and the windows in a building like the Minster Villa would have been composite structures with the glass held in place with a metal framework, like the one from the Tivoli Villa which was shown in VM_365 Day 78.

The small sample of glass vessel sherds shown here represent one of the most important pieces of evidence of the Roman way of life in Thanet from the 1st to the 3rd century AD.

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