A Roman cemetery of about a hundred burials and several cremations was discovered in 1856 when gravel was dug out near Newbury railway station. Antiquarians visited the site and collected some of the grave goods, including this green glass bottle called an unguentarium, which would have contained for oils or perfumes. It has the initials S P S on the base with a figure that may be the Roman god of medicine Aesculapius and his emblem, a serpent. A 1st or 2nd century AD date was suggested for the site.
This bottle was one of the earliest pieces in the Museum‚Äôs collection.
Further information about the archaeological site is available on the HER: www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MWB5406&resourceID=1030
HER – The Historic Environment Record (HER) is a register of all known archaeological and historical sites in the unitary authority of West Berkshire.
Period: AD 43-410