Lion Head Mortarium
Lion Head Mortarium
Lion Head Mortarium
Lion Head Mortarium
Lion Head Mortarium
Lion Head Mortarium
Lion Head Mortarium

Lion Head Mortarium

Regular price £52.00
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Lion spouted Mortaria (plural of Mortarium) like this, were imported into Britain during the late 2nd century and would have been used in many a Roman kitchen to produce all manner of delicious treats.  Used to grind herbs & spices, and to make purees & pastes, the grit that is embedded into bottom of mortaria acts as a grinding medium, in this case a fine quartz grit, pressed into the bottom of the bowl before the whole bowl is dipped in a layer of red slip. 

The moulded, stylised lion's head that has been applied is very common with these bowls.  Once applied incised lines are then scratched around the lion head and a hole is cut in the mouth of the lion to form a spout, making it also function as a juice maker.

Many of the examples found in Britain were East Gaulish imports and this replica is based on one found at Papcastle Roman Fort in Cumbria.  

Form 45


Earthenware, terracotta


Approx. 140 mm tall, 80 mm diameter


This replica Roman pot has been hand made in Northumberland by Potted History, based on an original artefact.  It has been fired to emulate the authentic Roman firing conditions, to a temperature of over 1000°C, as the original potters would have done nearly two thousand years ago. This process often results in variations of the surface colour and texture, as is found with original Roman Pottery and giving each pot it's unique character.

Health and Safety

This is a Museum Quality Replica made using the tools and techniques that would have been used during the Roman era.  As this is an unglazed pot with a porous surface it will absorb some of the flavours during the cooking process, which does add to the flavour of future dishes. However, it does also mean that this pot does not meet modern Health and Safety standards and therefore we do not advise that it is used for cooking with.  Although our replicas are often used for Experimental Archaeology purposes, if you do choose to use this item for cooking with, you do so at your own risk. 

When the Romans cooked in these pots they would rely on applying sufficient heat to the pot and contents to ensure that all bacteria was killed. Heating to over 70°C for at least 10 minutes would have killed most disease causing bacteria and temperatures of 100°C would do even more.

It is likely that the first time a mortarium was used, that the internal surface was ground down with a pestle in order to remove any grit that was not fully imbedded in the surface of the clay.  This would have helped to avoid any dental emergencies.  

All items are sent using a second class postal service, if you wish to have an item sent first class please contact my for a quote. Many Thanks