2,000-year-old ancient Roman face cream with visible, ancient fingermarks

A fascinating well-preserved  canister, containing a white cream, has been found at the site of an ancient Roman temple in London. The cylinder container, with a white cream inside revealing  the user’s fingerprints, could offer unprecedented insights into rituals and use of cosmetics 2000 years ago.

romanfacecream

Archaeologists assume that the white cream, found in a well-sealed cylindrical tub,  may either be a face cream or a face paint,  and the canister was probably buried in a ritual offering, they claim.

Gary Brown, managing director of Pre-Construct Archaeology whose team of archaeologists have been painstakingly excavating the Tabard Square site over the past year,  told Guardian:  “I am astounded,” said”It appears to be a kind of cosmetic cream or ointment. Creams of this kind do not ordinarily survive into the archaeological record, so this is a unique find.”

The  sealed container was unearthed on a site at the junction between two major Roman roads in Southwark, near the river Thames. The site, dating from 50 AD, contained two 11-metre-square Roman-Celtic temples, between which was a large yard suitable for mass worship.