Skillet, Roman

Production date
0210 BCE-0010 BCE
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Object detail

Bronze skillet. Semicircular hole in handle allowing suspension, and three applied flat feet on base.
CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Food Preparation frying pan
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Roman
Production date
0210 BCE-0010 BCE
Production place
L90mm x W150mm x D285mm
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 is rare.

The form of this Roman skillet is easily recognisable today, and it was likely used to make meals such as soups or porridge. The metalworker has incorporated small decorative flourishes on the vessel, not common on today’s metal kitchenware. Three little feet have been applied to the base, and a cut-out of the handle allows suspension.
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