JIAAW, Lewis Collection
The handle-less unguentarium is a form of pottery that was commonly found in burial sites. Typically, it is a very thin, cylindrical container with either a bulge in the middle or at the bottom. Used as packaging of market products and in funerals, the unguentarium usually held oils, powders, and other substances and were either made out of glass or clay. Those used in commerce sometimes had a type of brand with information about who produced it or the product it contained. In the past, the pottery shape was also call “lacrimarium” (lacrimae = tears) because scholars used to believe that the container was used to hold the tears of mourners during the funeral.
-Elaina Kim ‘21, JIAAW Records and Collections Assistant 2017/18