Starinar 2008 Issue 58, Pages: 135-153
doi:10.2298/STA0858135N
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Prosopomorphic vessels from Moesia Superior

Nikolić Snežana, Raičković Angelina

The prosopomorphic vessels from Moesia Superior had the form of beakers varying in outline but similar in size. They were wheel-thrown, mould-made or manufactured by using a combination of wheel-throwing and mould-made appliqués. Given that face vessels are considerably scarcer than other kinds of pottery, more than fifty finds from Moesia Superior make an enviable collection. In this and other provinces face vessels have been recovered from military camps, civilian settlements and necropolises, which suggests that they served more than one purpose. It is generally accepted that the faces-masks gave a protective role to the vessels, be it to protect the deceased or the family, their house and possessions. More than forty of all known finds from Moesia Superior come from Viminacium, a half of that number from necropolises. Although tangible evidence is lacking, there must have been several local workshops producing face vessels. The number and technological characteristics of the discovered vessels suggest that one of the workshops is likely to have been at Viminacium, an important pottery-making centre in the second and third centuries.

Keywords: the prosopomorphic vessels, Viminacium, Moesia Superior, 2nd/3rd century AD

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