Glass production evolved during the Roman Empire with the introduction of glassblowing, which allowed for a great variety of different shapes and styles to be constructed. The technique allowed for easier manipulation of the glass into more intricate designs allowing the vessels to have an assortment of functions. Glassblowing also allowed for a quicker paced production, the hot glass would be blown into moulds and then removed whilst still hot so that the glass maker could still work on it. Different minerals were added to create a variety of colours; a yellow tint was created by adding lead and changing the oxygen levels.
The unusual shape of this flask, with its rounded belly, elongated neck and small handles, resembles the flask jars used by pilgrims as they travelled. They were predominantly used to hold water or oil to and from holy shrines, hence its name as a pilgrim flask.
To find out more about Ancient Roman glass please visit our relevant blog post: Ancient Roman Glass.