Cauldron, Roman

Production date
Circa 1st Century CE
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Object detail

Cauldron, Bronze, Roman. Hammered, bronze cauldron, with slight lip, short neck and wide shoulder. Loop handle attached to lip by riveted loops.
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Roman cauldron
Production date
Circa 1st Century CE
Production place
L185mm x W313mm x D313mm
Media/Materials description
Copper alloy
History and use
In ancient Rome, metalworking involved the mastery of complex processes and hard physical labour. As a result, metalware items were expensive, high status items. Roman metalwork was produced in small workshops, which made agricultural equipment (chains, wheel rims), and military equipment (shields, nails, arrows) alongside household utensils like sieves, skewers, meat hooks, braziers, cauldrons and skillets. Large and profitable workshops could employ 30 slaves who washed ore and prepared it for smelting. Metal was valuable and melted down several times and reworked. Thus, complete vessels such as this are rare.

This bronze cauldron was abandoned when Pompeii was overwhelmed by the eruption of Vesuvius. It would have hung over a fireplace or iron cooker, used to make soups or stews using pork, beef or vegetables. The city of Argos in Greece was known for its cauldrons, and this may have been produced there.
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