Glass Unguent Bottle Unearthed – Milton Keynes Archaeological Evaluation

30th January 2020

Dated 1st-2nd Century AD

This is a Roman blue/green glass unguent bottle unearthed during a recent archaeological evaluation in Milton Keynes. An unguent is an ointment that is spread on the skin to soothe wounds, burns and scratches. Often found in funerary contexts, flasks of this type were also used  to contain creams, pastes, ointments or perfumed oils for medicinal or cosmetic use.

Glass colouring is dependent on impurities such as iron and manganese compounds within the main constituent, sand. Iron impurities, for example, give the glass a green hue while blue glass could be made by the addition of copper compounds.