Poole Museum
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Sun 12pm-4pm
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Roman Glass Head

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Roman Glass Head

Roman Glass Head
Glass head, Roman

This enigmatic face is actually the face of Silenus, a companion to Bacchus who was the Roman god of wine. It originally hung from a highly decorated Roman wine glass which would have sat on a rich person’s dining table.

The face itself is interesting, but what gives it added significance is the way in which it was found. The face was found during an excavation to the north of Poole in a posthole. The glass head was carefully buried beneath a quern stone (otherwise known as a mill stone) with a layer of shale on top. Someone carefully and deliberately buried this face, but why?

Archaeologists believe that the glass head, once broken, was re-found by a local person, perhaps with completely different beliefs, who gave the glass face new meaning. While we will never know for certain, the care with which it was buried suggests that it may have had some kind of spiritual significance.

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