Fragile riches from Emonan graves
The results of current archaeological research exhibited at the museum's treasury.
Archaeological research carried out along Dunajska cesta in Ljubljana between May and September 2021 uncovered part of Roman Emona’s northern cemetery. At one time, this would have extended along the wide road leading to Celeia.
Forty-one graves were examined in the area between today’s Livarska ulica and Trstenjakova ulica, all of them dating from between the middle of the first century CE and the end of the second. The objects discovered in the graves along Dunajska cesta included a surprising number of well-preserved and clearly valuable glass vessels.
Vessel with multicoloured flecks
One discovery from the archaeological excavations along Dunajska cesta attracted more attention than any other: an exquisite footed vessel with two tiny handles, and made of blue glass with white, yellow and light blue flecks. It was discovered in grave 1038, a masonry tomb that also contained a number of other glass and ceramic vessels. The blue vessel posed a particular challenge for the conservation team at the City Museum, since it was partially encased in a crust of hardened earth that had to be painstakingly removed by hand.
The vessel was made using the free-blown method and was decorated as part of the blowing process. First a ball of blue glass was rolled over small pieces of glass of various colours in order to press them into the surface. The glass was then reheated and re-blown into the shape of a goblet. In the course of this process, the small glass pieces were stretched into coloured flecks.
Fragile riches from Emonan graves: Roman glassware from Dunajska cesta
Authors: dr. Bernarda Županek, dr. Marko Sraka, Urša Karer
Text: dr. Bernarda Županek
Conservation and restoration: Helena Pucelj Krajnc, Zala Rebernak, Alenka Drol
Photographs: Andrej Peunik
Design: AGORA PROARS, Bojan Lazarević
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