Stirring rods consist of canes that vary in length from about 10 to 26 centimeters. Frequently, these canes are spirally twisted. The lower end is usually flattened to form a disk with a diameter slightly greater than the diameter of the rod itself. The upper end may terminate in a similar disk, a loop, a ring, or an object such as an amphora (as on this object) or a bird. The function of these rods is uncertain. As the name implies, most students of Roman glass assume that they were used for mixing small quantities of cosmetic or medicinal preparations, a conclusion supported by their frequent association with toilet bottles in graves, usually of women. On the other hand, Welker suggested that they represent bobbins or spindles and refer to one of the domestic activities of the deceased; and others thought that they are hairpins. Similar rods, but presumably with plain terminals, were used in architectural decoration. Glass stirring rods have been found in all parts of the Roman Empire. Examples from datable contexts seem to be mainly (perhaps exclusively) of the first and second centuries A.D.