Vessels in the shape of dates, which look very realistic with the vertical grooves imitating the wrinkles of the dried fruit, are among the most famous and popular glass vases of the early Imperial period. They were most often blown in multi-piece molds that left visible the join around their body. The neck and the rim were generally made separately, and then soldered.
These small containers intended to store and transport cosmetic or medicinal products were widely spread in all the areas of the Empire, often far from their production centers which would have been located in a Syro-Palestinian coastal city, perhaps in Phoenicia.
Still largely cultivated today in the Near East and in North Africa, the date palm was considered the “king of trees” by the peoples of ancient Mesopotamia. Its very fibrous wood was perfect for the manufacturing of ropes, but could not be used for construction. Its fruits yielded many food products, which were still largely widespread in the Greek-Roman period: bread, wine, vinegar, honey, flour, etc. The kernels were used as fuel or as cattle feed.