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Glass In Late Antiquity: The Continuity Of Technology And Sources Of Supply

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Chapter Summary

This chapter underlines what could be defined as the new direction in glass studies in recent years, and outlines the main trends and most important research results in this field, with the intention of introducing late antique glass studies to a wider group of scholars. It seeks to establish how the interests of scholars of glass studies can interact with those of ceramicists and, ultimately, with those of historians. The analysis of some glass groups from the Early Imperial period and Late Antiquity indicate the use of sands of a different composition to the Syro-Palestinian kind. In Antiquity, glass consisted of a mixture of a vitrifying substance and a flux. The flux was necessary to lower the fusion temperature of silica, the normal temperature of which was around 1700 ºC, much too high for the capabilities of ancient technology.

Keywords: ancient technology; glass studies; Late Antiquity; raw materials; Syro-Palestinian coast



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