Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 2nd century CE. A bronze batillum (also vatillum, baetilum), a ritual item. It was cast in two pieces, the first a flat shovel bordered on three sides by raised bars with slight flares at the back corners. The second is the handle, which is a long cylinder shape that recalls a column with a flared design at its top and a flat base. These were hand shovels used for burning scented herbs and incense, often associated with Jewish ceremonies or the worship of the mystery cult of Mithras. Size: 7.5" L x 3.45" W (19 cm x 8.8 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Private Orange County, CA collection
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