The sphero-conical vessels from the Lower Danube in the light of new discoveries from Isaccea, Tulcea county, Romania
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So-called sphero-conical or grenade vessels are one of the more unusual archaeological finds in Eurasia and beyond dating to the period between the 8/9th to 15th centuries AD. They have been found in many sites located in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus as well as in Central Asia. These are small vessels, usually sphero-conical and spherical in shape, well-made by hand with rounded, short necks and small openings. In the literature the exact function of these wares is still under debate. The finds from the Lower Danube, especially from Dobruja (Isaccea and Nufăru) are the largest deposits in Europe. They are a good example of the special role of the Dobruja as an important network for commercial, cultural technological exchange between Europe and Asia in the Middle Ages. In this paper we will present new discoveries of the sphero-conical vessels from Isaccea and discuss the current state of research on these types of ‘exotic’ vessels in Europe.
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