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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mysterious Roman Jar Presents a Riddle For Archaeologists

It’s always a surprise to find an artifact packed safety away in museum storage for later investigation. However, what happens when an archaeological piece, such as the 1800 year old Roman Jar discovered in a storage room at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology, turns up broken into dozens of pieces?

The Roman jar discovered measures 40 centimeters tall and was found shattered into an unrecognizable 180 pieces. Even if the jar is fully restored, scientists still have nothing comparable to the artifact to even venture a guess about its history or significance.

"Everyone's stumped by it," Katie Urban, one of the researchers at the London, Ontario, museum, told LiveScience. "We've been sending it around to all sorts of Roman pottery experts and other pottery experts, and no one seems to be able to come up with an example."

The jar was given to the museum in the 1950s by William Francis Grimes. Grimes' team had dug them out of a World War II bomb crater in London, England, not far from an ancient temple dedicated to Mithra, an Iranian god who was popular throughout the Roman Empire.

Read the full story at Live Science


BuffySquirrel said...

A planter?

Geotek said...

To bad the jar was broke, but what it was used for was obvious it was a planter that was probably used for planting strawberries. There are plenty of modern equivalents around that you can find gracing the shelves of any garden shop. The hole in the bottom was used for drainage. The other holes were for planting strawberries.

Lauren Axelrod said...

@Buffy and Geotek

I think you're both right. My mother grows strawberries on her property and I've seen these pots, or the equivalent, before in the barn.

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