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Unguentaria and Related Vessels in the Mediterranean from the Early Hellenistic to the Early Byzantine Period

Ergün Lafli and Gülseren Kan Şahin
Publication Year:
336 pages, Illustrated throughout in black & white, and colour.
BAR number:


This book provides comprehensive analyses of the clay and glass unguentaria and related vessels (such as pelikai and alabastra) from the Late Classical to the Early Byzantine periods that have been found across the Mediterranean. It defines these vessels, classifies them by type, dates them, and examines their contexts, functions, regional variations, probable contents, and distribution patterns.
The text presents evidence of how unguentaria evolved in type and how their shapes and decorations reflected their functions. It also explores the major production centers, methods, and innovations of unguentaria and related vessels. A primary aim is to outline a sensory approach to Greek and Roman burials and contribute to the “function versus form” debate. The conclusions contain implications for further research on funerary practices, local identities, and social statuses in settlements and their regions.

Professor Ergün Lafli is a classical archaeologist at Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir, chairs the Division for Medieval Archaeology, and is director of the Center of the Archaeology of Western Anatolia (EKVAM). 

Dr Gülseren Kan Sahin is an assistant professor of classical archaeology at the University of Sinop in Turkey. Since 2010 she has published extensively on Hellenistic and Roman pottery of Anatolia, such as Hadrianopolis III (BAR Publishing, 2016).

Contributors: Maria Valentina Aquilino, Ana Margarida Arruda, Andrés M. Adroher Auroux, Rosa M. Maroto Benavides, Maurizio Buora, Giovanna Camponetti, Eva Urquieta Castrillo, Elisa de Sousa, Alberto Dorado Alejos, Julia García González, Verena Gassner, Francisco B. Gomes, Roberto Larios Gutierrez, Marcella Leone, Angeliki Liveri, Dragos Mandescu, Marco Muresu, Florinda Notarstefano, Anna Panti, Carlos Pereira, Mariana-Cristina Popescu, Paola Puppo, Carmen M. Román Muñoz, Iván Sánchez Marcos, Grazia Semeraro, Justo F. Sol Plaza, Eleni Trakosopoulou-Salakidou

“This book includes distinguished research papers that present bottles of scented oils and evidence of their cultural and social diversity.” Dr Yahya Mahmoud, Fayoum University

Table of Contents (S3165_Lafli_9781407360638_-_toc.pdf, 282 Kb) [Download]

Introduction (S3165_Lafli_9781407360638_-_intro.pdf, 606 Kb) [Download]