Head pots were widely used throughout Roman Britain and are some of the most striking ceramic items produced during Roman rule, and seem to have been a speciality of Romano-British potters.
This head pot has been made in the form of the Roman god Vulcan, Hephaestus in Greek mythology. The firstborn of Juno and Jupiter was different from the other gods in that he was born stunted and unattractive, which caused his mother to cast him out moments after his birth.
However, his determination, intelligence and skills enabled him to rejoin his family later in life and earn his place as god of fire, blacksmiths, forges, the art of sculpture and volcanoes. Brought up on the island of Lemnos by nymphs, Vulcan spent his time learning to master the art of metalwork. He became so skilled that he caught the attention of Jupiter and the other gods, who tasked him with making fearsome weapons, armour and stunning jewellery for them, with the help of his Cyclopes assistants.
He is also attributed with modelling Pandora out of his spittle and a lump of clay. Once complete, his wife Venus breathed life into her, and Jupiter gifted her with a box of secrets, setting in motion the legend of Pandora's box.
At the front, we see the face of Vulcan, and on the back, a depiction of the tools of his trade.
Approx. 210mm tall, 140mm diameter
As with all our Museum Quality Replicas, we have made this pot, as the original would have been, entirely by hand from natural clay and using replicas of the types of tool that the ancient makers would have used. As each pot varies, you may not receive the same item in the image, but you can be sure that your pot will be one of a kind due to the variations caused by the firing process.
Health and Safety
This pot is a Museum Quality Replica made using the tools and techniques that ancient potters would have used during this era. As this is an unglazed pot with a porous surface, it will absorb some of the flavours during the cooking process or when used as food storage, which does add to the taste 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 you use it for cooking or storing foodstuffs. When ancient cooks used these pots, they relied on applying sufficient heat to the pot and contents to ensure that the heat-killed all bacteria. 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.
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