Hexagonal Pilgrim's Jar with Jewish Symbol

Date: ca. 578–636

Culture: Byzantine

Medium: Mold-blown glass

Dimensions: Overall: 3 3/16 × 2 3/4 × 3 1/16 in. (8.1 × 7 × 7.7 cm)

Classification: Glass-Vessels

Credit Line: Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971

Accession Number: 1972.118.180


Glass vessels such as these were made for Jews and Christians, possibly as tokens for pilgrims visiting the holy sites in Jerusalem or for use in burial rites. They appear to have been mass-produced in a single workshop, since the vessels for the two religions closely resemble each other in shape and style and differ only in the symbols decorating them. This vessel, intended for a Jewish patron, shows a menorah, a shofar, and a lulav in relief. Ritual elements used in Jewish festivals in synagogues were typically used to represent Judaism in this period rather than the Star of David, which appears much later.