YOU ARE HERE>>Mystery artefacts>What is this? section 7


Dece. 2018

Not ancient , rather antique, but Rox asks if anyone recognises this as a known script.

The piece is 2 inches x 1.5 inches.

Was acquired in Iran.


Jan 2019

Pete asks if this glass bottle is Roman.

He wonders if it is actually Merovingian and a 'matula'

The 'matula' was a glass bottle used in ancient and medieval times by physicians to inspect the colour and content of the urine of their patients.

Some interesting information can be found here:


Pete confirms that the glass is fairly bubbly which is consistent with Merovingian glass.

But I doubt that it is a 'matula' as surely the ribbing would make it more difficult to properly inspect the urine. Additionally I'd think that clear rather than green glass would suit its purposes better.

There are few images of attested examples available.

Maybe someone will know......

From Portland (who is a very specialist collector of ancient glass)

I don't feel the glass is Merovingian - just doesn't look right to me. One of those instinctive feelings one has when you've see a lot of them. Think probably late Roman/Byzantine and just a simple glass bottle. I agree with your doubts about it being a Matula for the good reasons you give.

Pete asks what this is. Appears to be made of terracotta.

(Which way is up?)