enter image description hereBased on numismatic evidence, this is dated in the second half of the fourth century CEenter image description here


2 Answers 2


It is a bronze lasanum, a very expensive piece of equipment. The way it works is you put charcoal and some oil/wood in it and light it which makes a hot fire (as you can see flames are coming out of it). You then spit meat and put it in the lasanum to roast the meat. This particular lasanum seems to have an arch allowing it to be hung and the man is hanging it from a tree limb.

The man on the left is butchering a deer (you can see the deer's antlers and the knife in the man's right hand). The deer is hung from the tree, just the same way a modern butcher suspends a carcass before making his cuts. It is the meat from this deer which will be cooked in the lasanum. The hounds seem very interested in the deer carcass.

Our word "lasagna" is believed to come from the word lasanum.

This mosaic of the Villa Tellaro shows various scenes of hunting. The detail in question depicts the final stage of the hunt: the cooking of the meat.

  • 1
    interesting. I struggle to find any image of a lasanum, can you point me to one?
    – HannesH
    Oct 21, 2014 at 19:53
  • The vessel has a spout heading to the right side, opposing the handle as you would expect with vessels from which you pour stuff out. It's more visible on the picture i added now. Does that fit a lasanum? Would you roast the meat on a stick in a lasanum, or may this also be some kind of outdoor cattle to cook soup in? Still today Hunters cook the entestines of game into a kind of soup immediatly.
    – HannesH
    Oct 21, 2014 at 20:00
  • A lasanum is any pot used as a brazier in the Greek style. Usually it is made from pottery, but here it is made of metal. Oct 21, 2014 at 20:11

I think it is a bee smoker. You can see the man on the far left stripping the hive.

  • Interesting idea. However, in the pictures tohuwawohu thankfully added in a comment to the question, it doesn't look like a beehive at all. It's a carcasse.
    – HannesH
    Oct 21, 2014 at 18:07

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