Glass was often the preferred material for storing expensive oils, perfumes, and medicines because it was not porous. By the 1st century AD, the technique of glass-blowing had revolutionised the art of glass-making, allowing for the production of small medicine, incense, and perfume containers in new forms. Designed with a constriction on the inside of the neck, it permitted only a drop of liquid to pass through at a time, hence the term ‘sprinkler’ or ‘dropper’ flask. The small body and mouth allowed the user to carefully pour and control the amount of expensive liquid dispensed. These small glass bottles are found frequently at Hellenistic and Roman sites, especially in cemeteries, and the liquids which filled them would have been gathered from all corners of the expansive Roman Empire.
To find out more about Roman glass please see our relevant blog post: Collecting Roman Glass.