Glass supply and circulation in early Byzantine southern Jordan

Rehren, Thilo, Marii, Fatma, Schibille, Nadine, Stanford, Lucy and Swan, Carolyn (2010) Glass supply and circulation in early Byzantine southern Jordan. In: Drauschke, Jörg and Keller, Daniel (eds.) Glass in Byzantinum : production, usage, analyses ; international workshop organised by the Byzantine Archaeology Mainz, 17th - 18th of January 2008, Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum. RGZM-Tagungen (8). Verlag des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums, Mainz, pp. 65-81. ISBN 9783884671474

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Abstract

Glass played a major role in Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture, and numerous excavations of churches and monasteries have yielded significant finds of glass fragments. This paper reports the results of chemical analyses of glass from three such excavations, dating broadly to the mid first millennium A.D. Window fragments and glass lamp fragments were analysed from the main Petra Church and the smaller North Ridge Church, also in Petra, and lamp fragments from the monastery in Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata near the Dead Sea. The results show that the large majority of glasses match the Levantine I compositional pattern, indicating that most of the glass came from production centres on the northern Levantine coast. Systematic differences were found within this overall compositional group, indicating both source heterogeneity in the main glass supply and working-related changes in glass composition, through recycling and contamination. A small number of other glass compositions were also found that correspond to compositional glass groups associated with production sites in Northern Egypt. The relative proportion and diversity of such Egyptian glass was greatest among the Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata finds, despite the much larger geographical distance between this site and Egypt, as compared to Petra. This discrepancy is discussed, and explained by a combination of factors, including the more portable character of lamps compared to window glass, and the wider catchment area of a pilgrim site such as Deir ‘Ain ‘Abata compared to the parish churches in Petra

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > Art History
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology > CC080 Analysis and interpretation of archaeological evidence
Depositing User: Nadine Schibille
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2012 09:46
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 09:46
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/43181
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