A small, thin, long-necked bottle of transparent slightly greenish yellow glass was found near Ein Gedi in Israel’s Judean Desert in 1961 (Fig. 4). I was allowed to handle and study the piece in 2008, and I can confirm that it was certainly made by glassblowing. The bottle has a surprisingly early date: mid-first century B.C., according to a 1983 publication by Nahman Avigad.3 More recently, the date has been moved forward somewhat.
The Ein Gedi Bottle Video shows the rim being finished while the vessel is held with a simple clamplike device (sometimes called a “snap” or “gadget”). During this procedure, the bottle can still be hot, having just been broken free of the blowpipe, or it can be at room temperature well after annealing. The pontil is arguably a slightly later invention, because the earliest blown vessels are without pontil marks.