Bronze Incense shovel Maker: Unknown

ca. A.D. 200–256

Ancient Art

Not on view

Found in the debris of a bath’s hypocaust system (the space under the floor for circulating hot air), this bronze shovel would have been used for moving coals and burning incense in the heated baths. Finials decorated with griffins embellish this piece for the pleasure of those enjoying the baths. Waterworks—such as baths, latrines, and aqueducts—often are associated with Roman culture. Most of the public baths at Dura-Europos date from the Roman occupation.




6.51 × 8.57 × 11.75 cm (2 9/16 × 3 3/8 × 4 5/8 in.)
3.18 × 3.49 × 16.51 cm (1 1/4 × 1 3/8 × 6 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos

Accession Number



Greco-Roman or Parthian


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Excavated by the Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos (block F3 3, Parthian Baths, Amphitheater), present-day Syria, 1928–37; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.

  • Jennifer Chi and Sebastian Heath, eds., Edge of Empires: Pagans, Jews, and Christians at Roman Dura-Europos, exh. cat. (New York: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 2011), 116, no. 69, ill.
  • Lisa R. Brody and Gail Hoffman, eds., Dura-Europos: Crossroads of Antiquity (Boston: McMullen Museum of Art, 2011), 361, no. 57, pl. 57.
  • Michael I. Rostovtzeff, Dura-Europos and Its Art, 1st (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1938), 46, pl. 8:3, ill.

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