Bronze Container for Medical or Cosmetical Purposes

This little bronze container dates to the end of the 1st century AD and was used either for make-up or medical purposes. A number of such containers are known, typically made of a small box with a sliding lid on a bronze plate with a semi-circular bowl and a tubular container with a lid attached to the side. The underside houses a slid-in piece of stone for preparing either medical or cosmetic substances.

The original was found in Heidelberg, Germany in a woman's grave together with a few other instruments that may point towards a female doctor, although this is not certain.


  • Andreas Hensen, Renate Ludwig. Straße ins Jenseits. Die römischen Gräberfelder von Heidelberg. 2005.