Rock Crystal Dish in the Form of a Temple

Date: 3rd–5th century

Culture: Roman or Byzantine

Medium: Rock crystal

Dimensions: Overall: 2 3/8 x 1 5/8 in. (6 x 4.1 cm)

Classification: Lapidary Work-Crystal

Credit Line: Bequest of Ada Small Moore, 1955

Accession Number: 55.135.5


This carefully carved dish, shaped like a circular temple, was probably meant for use as a saltcellar. It was found, along with four other rock-crystal carvings, in a cistern in Carthage (now in Tunisia, North Africa). The delicacy of the objects found there demonstrates the quality of the arts produced in one of the great cities of the Roman and early Byzantine world.