Vindolanda Vulcan Head Second
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As well as a face, this head jar bares the symbols of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire, blacksmiths, forges, the art of sculpture, artisans and volcanoes.
Seeing an ancient face staring back at you from a museum display is a real thrill; it is one of the main reasons we adore replicating this sought-after style of Roman pottery. 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.
The almost caricature-like features of these pots were individually modelled onto beautifully wheel-thrown jars. Hand modelling was a relatively unusual method of working for the Romans, who often preferred the quicker convenience of mould decoration.
Believed to have been introduced to Britain by the Roman army, many head pots were discovered in the Colchester area, where there was likely a prolific production site.
Today you can see some truly superb examples of head pots on display in Colchester Museum, and we have used these rich examples to inspire this replica. However, they are not limited to Colchester, and a significant number of head potsherds were found along Hadrian's wall.
Their function and significance are, as of yet, not fully understood. Many, but by no means all, head pots have smith tools on them, suggesting a link to the God Vulcan. There have also been a number of these pots found in burial settings leading some to believe that this was their main usage. However, most have been found in settlement sites, so they were more likely to be used prominently in a domestic setting, perhaps for food storage.
Slight seconds mean the item has some minor defects, such as cracking or staining, but the item is otherwise fine. This jar has a crack running along the base and up the sides, which are hardly visible when the jar is on display. Please see images.
Approx. 240 mm tall, 160 mm diameter
This replica Roman pot has been hand-made in Northumberland by Potted History, inspired by original artefacts. It has been wood-fired in an authentic replica of a Roman Pottery Kiln at Vindolanda Museum to a temperature of between 800°C & 1000°C, using the same techniques the original potters would have employed nearly two thousand years ago. This process often results in variations of the surface colour and texture. When ordering, you may not get the exact vessel photographed, and the colouring may vary slightly.
Health and Safety
This is a Museum Quality Replica made using the tools and techniques that would have been used during the Roman era. This is an unglazed pot with a porous surface. It will absorb some of the flavours during the cooking process, adding to the flavour of future dishes. However, it also means that this pot does not meet modern Health and Safety standards, so we do not advise using it for cooking. When the Romans cooked in these pots, they applied sufficient heat to the pot and contents to ensure that all bacteria were 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.
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