Supply routes and the consumption of glass in first millennium CE Butrint (Albania)

Schibille, Nadine (2011) Supply routes and the consumption of glass in first millennium CE Butrint (Albania). Journal of Archaeological Science, 38 (11). pp. 2939-2948. ISSN 0305-4403

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Archaeological, historical and analytical evidence can identify trade patterns and the movement of people and products and thus reveal the cultural and economic connections that existed at a given time. In the case of first millennium CE glass, the manufacture of raw glass in a limited number of glass making installations with unique compositional characteristics makes it possible to trace the likely origin of the raw materials at consumption sites. In this way the analytical characterisation of a large corpus of glass finds can identify changes in the supply routes of high-end industrial products from the Roman to the middle Byzantine period.
Through the chemical analysis of a comprehensive glass assemblage from first to eighth century Butrint (Albania), the continuity and discontinuity of the supply of glass is traced at this consumption site. Ancient Butrint is located at the crossing point of late antique maritime trade routes, and this is reflected in the city’s archaeological record that includes a large number of glass artefacts as well as evidence of secondary glass working. The compositional analysis of glass samples from different archaeological contexts at Butrint revealed a great complexity as regards the base glass compositions. At
least six sub-groups of soda-lime-silica glass can be distinguished that correspond to different identified primary glass production groups including Roman, HIMT and Egypt II glasses. Notably, one sub-group (WD2) among the Butrint fragments displays close proximity to other early medieval glass from central and northern Europe, whose precise place of origin is yet to be established. Chronological variations suggest a change in the supply of raw glasses with a dominance of Egyptian glass types during the early medieval period

Item Type: Article
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 09:23
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2013 08:25
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