29 February 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Archaeologists have unearthed a flawless Roman blue glass bowl in the Dutch city of Nijmegen

Archaeologists excavating the site of a comprehensive housing and green space development in Nijmegen’s Winkelsteeg, one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands, have uncovered a magnificent Roman blue glass bowl in immaculate condition.

The glass bowl is at least 2000 years old, and there is not a chip or crack on it.

“This is really special,” says archeologist Pepijn van de Geer, who led the excavation.

In his statement, the archaeologist said that the bowl was Roman production, that it may have come from big places such as Xanten or Cologne in Germany, and that there were glass workshops there at that time. However, he also mentioned the possibility that it was made in Italy.

“Such dishes were made by allowing molten glass to cool and harden over a mold. The stripe pattern was drawn in when the glass mixture was still liquid. Metal oxide causes a blue color.”

Archaeologists unearthed an old well belonging to the settlement at Winkelsteeg. © Photo by Bert Beelen
Archaeologists unearthed an old well belonging to the settlement at Winkelsteeg. © Photo by Bert Beelen

“This bowl was once a showpiece for early Nijmegen residents. Pepijn van de Geer thinks it is a masterpiece that deserves to be displayed in a museum. “I have seen similar glassware in Italian museums.”

The name Nijmegen comes from ‘Noviomagus’ meaning ‘new market’. Nijmegen is located on the banks of the Waal, a tributary of the Rhine in the ‘Great Rivers’ area, and is only 10 kilometers from the German border.

Nijmegen was founded as a Roman military camp in the 1st century B.C., and a civilian settlement of the local Batavi peoples formed next to it. By 98, the settlement of Nijmegen was the first city in what is today the Netherlands to receive the designation of municipium (Roman city rights) making its residents Roman citizens.

The Winkelsteeg excavation has also uncovered Roman settlement tombs as well as a smattering of grave goods such as numerous vessels, cups, and jewelry. The remains of dwellings are few- mostly traces of wood construction- but archaeologists are recording residues and soil discoloration to create a map of the neighborhood’s structures.

Cover photo: A spectacular Roman glass bowl, circa 1800 to 1900 years old, was found in the territory of Nijmegen. © Photo by Bert Beelen

Related Articles

Paleontologists say world’s oldest-known burial site found in South Africa

6 June 2023

6 June 2023

American explorer and scientist Lee Berger in South Africa said they have found the oldest-known burial site in the world,...

Scandinavia’s first farmers slaughtered the hunter-gatherer population, according to a new study

9 February 2024

9 February 2024

Following the arrival of the first farmers in Scandinavia 5,900 years ago, the hunter-gatherer population was wiped out within a...

Funerary urn depicting Maya corn god uncovered during Maya Train work

10 January 2024

10 January 2024

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conducting salvage work along section 7 of the Maya Train...

Unusual construction material may be linked to the Tower of Babel

5 November 2021

5 November 2021

Archaeologists have recently discovered bitumen and mortar plastered onto a brick dating back to the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II. This...

Ancient Jordanian town referred to as Heshbon in the Old Testament provides insight into regional agricultural history

20 January 2022

20 January 2022

The American archaeologist stated that Tell Hisban, located on the Madaba plains of Jordan, represents the “granary of the empires”....

Scientists may have discovered pieces of the Asteroid that caused the extinction of the Dinosaurs

14 May 2022

14 May 2022

Scientists are piecing together remnants of the day the extinction of the dinosaurs began. A tiny fragment of the asteroid...

Oldest Direct Evidence for Honey Collecting in Africa

18 April 2021

18 April 2021

Honey is an important food source that has been considered a very important healing source in the history of civilizations....

A woman was buried in a canoe on her way to the ‘destination of souls’ 800 years ago

25 August 2022

25 August 2022

According to new research, Up to 800 years ago, mourners buried a young woman in a ceremonial canoe to represent...

Scientists discover traces of paint on the Parthenon Sculptures that reveal their true colours

12 October 2023

12 October 2023

Recent research on the Parthenon Sculptures has found traces of the original paint used to decorate the Parthenon Sculptures, revealing...

King Stephen 12th Century rare penny hoard found near Wymondham

21 November 2023

21 November 2023

An unnamed metal detectorist recently discovered a scarce collection of 12th-century silver pennies near the village of Wymondham in the...

Archaeologists have discovered a 4,000-year-old burial ground and shell tool processing site in Taiwan

1 August 2022

1 August 2022

A 4,000-year-old cemetery and shell tool processing site has been discovered in Kenting National Park, Taiwan’s oldest and southernmost national...

Authorities in New York have been accused by leading academics of repatriating fake Roman artifacts to Lebanon

19 November 2023

19 November 2023

Leading academics from France and the United Kingdom have accused New York authorities of returning fake Roman artifacts to Lebanon....

Vindolanda marks the 1900th anniversary of Hadrian’s Wall with an altar discovery

9 February 2022

9 February 2022

The excavation season hasn’t started yet, but the Vindolanda Roman fort has kicked off Hadrian’s Wall’s 1900th anniversary year with...

Construction Workers Discovered Ancient Sarcophagus in Turkey

2 March 2021

2 March 2021

On Monday, reports said that during excavations in the Seyitgazi region of Eskisehir Province in northwestern Turkey, municipal staff unexpectedly...

Excavations at Coleshill may rewrite English Civil War history

5 February 2023

5 February 2023

Archaeologists excavating the site of Coleshill Manor in Warwickshire have revealed evidence of what could be one of the first...