Details Zoomorphic feeding vessels like this have been found at various sites in Europe, these examples are based on bottles discovered in Vosendorf, Austria, and that were featured in a paper by Dr Julie Dunne at al, University of Bristol.
The research looked at burials dated to the Bronze and Iron Ages which contained simple feeding vessels, although the earliest known clay feeding vessels, that may have been used to feed infants, are said to be from Neolithic Europe.
Due to their location in infant graves and chemical analysis that indicates they were used to feed milk products from ruminant, it is believed that these little vessels were used to feed infants. Although, it is also possible they were used to feed the sick.
The introduction of this type of vessel to help wean a baby could mark an important change in the way our ancestors cared for their children and the number of children a family could support. By enabling a mother to stop or reduce breastfeeding of a baby or small child, it would then allow her the time and energy to have another child. This change could have significantly alter the population of a community, allowing it to grow much faster.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Approx. - Height 9.5 mm, diameter 80 mm
As with all my Museum Quality Replicas this pot has been made, as the original would have been, entirely by hand from natural clay and using replicas of the types of tool that the Bronze-Age makers would have used.
It has been fired to emulate the ancient firing conditions. The original pot would have been fired in an open wood fire, in close contact with the fuel, a process that leaves its mark on the clay as variations in the surface colour. However the very low temperatures achieved in open firings, also results in pots that are relatively weak, so this pot has been fired to a somewhat higher temperature to strengthen it, in a special firing process that allows me to achieve an authentic appearance to the pot.
Health & Safety
This is a Museum Quality Replica and is not intended for use. Under no circumstances do we recommend this should be use to feed a baby or ill person (or anyone). Years of research and technology have gone into the production of modern, safe products for the care of babies and the ill. Use those instead!
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