Cookies Policy
X

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

The Glass Making Crucibles from Ile-Ife, SW Nigeria

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Crucibles to melt glass are very rare in archaeological contexts in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent archaeological excavations at Igbo Olokun, Ile-Ife (Southwest Nigeria) revealed abundant fragments of glass crucibles from 11th-15th century AD deposits, matching the complete and near complete examples earlier reported from Ile-Ife. This paper provides an in-depth examination of these crucible fragments in order to understand the material quality of the crucibles, their typology, and their functions in glass- working/making. Optical microscopic and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive spectrometry (EDS) analyses were carried out on ten crucible samples. The composition of ceramic fabrics and the adhering glass are presented and discussed in view of their function. The crucibles were produced from specifically selected highly refractory clay and used for melting glass from its raw materials; colorants were added to the melt in the crucible. The useable capacity of the crucibles varied from 1 to 7 liters, equivalent to about 2.5 to 17.5 kg of finished glass for each crucible. Compositional analysis of a sample of the thousands of glass beads from the excavations indicates that the crucibles were used to melt the glass used in the beads. Archaeological evidence of glass bead making at this scale has not previously been reported from West Africa. The crucibles are unique evidence of indigenous glass-working/making in Sub-Saharan Africa from early through mid-second millennium AD.Les creusets utilisés pour la fabrication du verre sont rares dans les contextes archéologiques de l’Afrique sub-Saharienne. Des fouilles récentes du site d’Igbo Olokun à Ile-Ife (sud-ouest du Nigéria) ont révélé de nombreux fragments de creusets de verrerie provenant de dépôts des XI e-XV e siècles de notre ère, semblables aux exemples complets ou presque complets déjà connus. Cette contribution propose un examen approfondi de ces fragments de creusets pour documenter leurs caractéristiques matérielles, leur typologie et leur fonction dans le processus de fabrication du verre. Des analyses par microscopie optique et par MEB/EDS ont été conduites sur un échantillon de 10 fragments. La composition de la pâte céramique et celle des adhésions de verre sont présentées et discutées en lien avec leur fonction. Les creusets étaient produits à l’aide d’une argile sélectionnée spécifiquement pour ses qualités hautement réfractaire puis utilisés pour obtenir du verre à partir de matière brute. Des colorants étaient ajoutés au mélange dans les creusets. Le volume utile des creusets variait de 1 à 7 litres, équivalent à une production de verre d’environ 2,5 à 17,5 kg. L’analyse de la composition d’un échantillon des milliers de perles en verre retrouvées lors des fouilles indique que la matière première utilisée pour produire ces dernières a bien été fondue dans ces creusets. C’est la première fois que l’on documente en Afrique de l’Ouest un assemblage archéologique illustrant la production de perles en verre à une telle échelle. Les creusets sont des témoignages uniques de l’existence dans l’Afrique sub-Saharienne de la première moitié du second millénaire de notre ère d’une industrie locale de production de verre et, probablement, de sa transformation en perles.This article is in English.

Affiliations: 1: Rice University Houston TexasCorresponding author tundebabalola@gmail.com ; 2: UCL Institute of Archaeology LondonUKCurrent address: The Cyprus Institute, Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center th.rehren@ucl.ac.uk ; 3: Middlesex County College Edison, New Jersey akin_ige@live.com ; 4: Rice University Houston Texas skmci@rice.edu

10.1163/21915784-20180002
/content/journals/10.1163/21915784-20180002
dcterms_title,pub_keyword,dcterms_description,pub_author
10
5
Loading
Loading

Full text loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/21915784-20180002
Loading

Data & Media loading...

1. Adeduntan J. 1985"Early glass bead technology of Ile-Ife" West African Journal of ArchaeologyVol 15 165 171
2. Akintola A.L., Ikhane P.R., Okunola O.A., Akintola G.O., Oyebolu O.O. 2012"Compositional features of precambrian pegmatites of Ago-Iwoye Area South West, Nigeria" Journal of Ecology and the Natural EnvironmentVol 4 3 71 87 [Crossref]
3. Akintola A.I., Omosanya K.O., Ajibade O.M., Okunlola O.A., Kehinde-Philips O.O. 2011"Petrographic and geochemical evaluations of rare-metal (Ta-Nb) potentials of precambrian pegmatities of Awo Area, southwestern Nigeria" International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENSVol 11 4 57 70
4. Babalola A.B. 2015 Archaeological Investigations of Early Glass Production at Igbo Olokun, Ile-Ife (Nigeria) PhD. Thesis, Rice University
5. Babalola A.B., Dussubieux L., McIntosh S.K., Rehren Th. 2018"Chemical analysis of glass beads from Igbo Olokun, Ile-IfeSW Nigeria): New light on raw materials, production, and interregional interactions" Journal of Archaeological ScienceVol 90 92 105 [Crossref]
6. Babalola A.B., McIntosh S.K., Dussubieux L., Rehren Th. 2017"Ile-Ife and Igbo Olokun in the history of glass in West Africa" AntiquityVol 91 732 750 [Crossref]
7. Bandama F., Moffett A.J., Thondhlana T.P., Chirikure S. 2016"The production, distribution and consumption of metals and alloys at Great Zimbabwe" ArchaeometryVol 58 Suppl. 1 164 181 [Crossref]
8. Blier S.P. 2014 Art and Risk in Ancient Yoruba: Ife History, Power, and Identity, c.1300 Cambridge University Press Cambridge
9. Brill R., Stapleton C. 2012 Chemical Analyses of Early GlassesVol Volume 3 Corning Museum of Glass
10. Chirikure Sh., Hall S., Rehren Th. 2015"When ceramic sociology meets materials science: Sociological and technological aspects of crucibles and pottery from Mapungubwe, southern Africa" Journal of Anthropological ArchaeologyVol 40 23 32 [Crossref]
11. Cholakova A., Rehren Th. 2014"Producing black glass during the Roman period – notes on a crucible fragment from Serdica, Bulgaria" Proceedings of the 39th International Symposium for Archaeometry Leuven 2012 261 267
12. Cisse M. 2011 Archaeological Investigations of Early Trade and Urbanism at Gao Saney (Mali) Ph.D., Rice University
13. Cissé M., McIntosh S.K., Dussubieux L., Fenn T., Gallagher D., Smith A.C. 2013"Excavations at Gao Saney: New Evidence for Settlement Growth, Trade, and Interaction on the Niger Bend in the First MillenniumCE" Journal of African ArchaeologyVol 11 1 9 37 [Crossref]
14. Cool H.E.M., Jackson C.M., Monaghan J. 1999"Glass-making and the Sixth Legion in York" BritanniaVol 30 147 162 [Crossref]
15. Davison C.C., Giauque R.D., Clark J.D. 1971"Two Chemical Groups of Dichroic Glass Beads from West Africa" Man New SeriesVol 6 4 645 659 [Crossref]
16. Davison C. 1972"Glass Beads in African Archaeology: Results of Neutron Activation Analysis, Supplemented by Results of X-ray Fluorescence Analysis" Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
17. Drewal H.J. 1989"Ife: Origins of Art and Civilization" Abiodun R., Drewal H.J., Pemberton III J. Yoruba: Nine Centuries of African Art and Thought The Center for African Art New York 45 74
18. Egharevba J.U. 1968 A Short History of Benin Ibadan University Press Ibadan
19. Eluyemi O. 1975"New Terracotta Finds at Oko-Eso, Ife" African Arts 32 92 [Crossref]
20. Eluyemi O. 1977"Excavations at Isoya, near Ile-Ife (Nigeria) in 1972" West African Journal of ArchaeologyVol 7 97 116
21. Eluyemi O. 1986"Technology of Ife Glass Beads: Excavations at Igbo-Olokun, Ile-Ife, Nigeria" The Social and Economic Contexts of Technological Change. The World Archaeological Congress Allen and Unwin London
22. Eluyemi O. 1987"The Technology of the Ife Glass Beads: Evidence from Igbo-Olokun" OduVol 32 200 216
23. Eramo G. 2006"The glass-melting crucibles of Derrière Sairoche (1699-1714AD, Ct. Bern, Switzerland): a petrological approach" Journal of Archaeological ScienceVol 33 440 452 [Crossref]
24. Eyo E. 1970"1969 Excavations at Ile-Ife" African Arts 45 87
25. Eyo E. 1974a"Excavations at Odo Ogbe Street and Lafogido, Ife, Nigeria" West African Journal of ArchaeologyVol 4 99 109
26. Eyo E. 1974b"Recent Excavations at Ile-Ife and Owo, and their Implications for Ife, Owo, and Benin Studies" University of Ibadan Ibadan
27. Fagg W.B. 1953"Some Archaeological Problems at Ile-Ife" Conference Internationale des Africanistes de l’Ouest. Compte rendu Reunion, Abidjan 125 126
28. Fagg W.B., Willett F. 1960"Ancient Ife. An Ethnographic Summary" OduVol 8 21 35
29. Fenn T.R., Killick D.I., Chesley J., Magnavita S., Ruiz J. 2009"Contacts Between West Africa and Roman North Africa: Archaeometallurgical Results from Kissi, Northeastern Burkina Faso" Magnavita S., Koté L., Breunig P., Idé O.A. Crossroads/Carrefour Sahel: cultural and technological developments in first millennium BC/AD West Africa Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series 2 Africa Magna Frankfurt a. M. 119 146
30. Freestone I.C. 2006"An Indigenous Technology? A Commentary on Lankton et al. ‘Early Primary Glass Production in Southern Nigeria.’" Journal of African ArchaeologyVol 4 1 139 141 [Crossref]
31. Frobenius L. 1968 (1913) Voice of Africa; being an account of the travels of the German Inner-African Exploration Expedition in the years 1910-1912 First Published 1913. Deutsche Inner-Afrikanische Forschungsexpedition. Blom
32. Garlake P. 1974"Excavations at Obalara’s Land, Ife: An Interim Report" West African Journal of ArchaeologyVol 4 111 148
33. Garlake P. 1977"Excavation at the Woye Asiri Family Land in Ife, Western Nigeria" West African Journal of ArchaeologyVol 7 57 96
34. Goffer Z. 2007 Archaeological Chemistry 2nd ed. Hoboken Wiley New Jersey [Crossref]
35. Gorin-Rosen Y. 2000"The ancient glass industry in Israel: summary of finds and new discoveries" Nenna M.-D. La Route du verre. Ateliers primaires et secondaires du second millenaire av. J.-C. au Moyen Age Travaux de la Maison de l’Orient 33 Lyon 49 63
36. Horton R. 1979"Ancient Ife: A Reassessment" Journal of the Historical Society of NigeriaVol 9 4 69 149
37. Ige O.A. 2010a"“Classification and Preservation of Ancient Glass Beads from Ile-Ife, Southwestern Nigeria.”" Presented at the Glass and Ceramics Conservation 2010, Interim Meeting of the ICOM-CC Working Group Corning, New York
38. Ige O.A. 2010b"“The Science Behind the Stories: The Adventure of a Museum Geologist.”" Presented at the Inaugural Lecture Series 236 Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife
39. Jackson C.M., Joyner L., Booth C.A., Day P.M., Wager E. 2003"Roman glass-making at Coppergate, York? Analytical evidence for the nature of production" ArchaeometryVol 45 435 456 [Crossref]
40. Killick D. 2016"A global perspective on the pyrotechnologies of Sub-Saharan Africa" Azania: Archaeological Research in AfricaVol 51 1 62 87 [Crossref]
41. Kock J., Sode T. 1994 Glass, Glassbeads and Glassmakers in Northern India THOT Print Publisher Vanlose
42. Lankton J., Ige O.A., Rehren Th. 2006"Early primary glass production in southern Nigeria" Journal of African ArchaeologyVol 4 111 138 [Crossref]
43. Lankton J., Nixon S., Robertshaw P., Dussubieux L. 2017"Beads" Nixon S. Essouk-Tadmekka. An Early Islamic Trans-Saharan Market Town Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series 12 Brill Leiden 160 173
44. Magnavita S. 2009"Sahelian crossroads: some aspects on the Iron Age sites of Kissi, Burkina Faso" Magnavita S., Koté L., Breunig P., Idé O.A. Crossroads/Carrefour Sahel. Cultural and technological developments in first millennium BC/AD West Africa Journal of African Archaelogy Monograph Series 2 Africa Magna Frankfurt a. M. 79 104
45. Magnavita S. 2016"Early trans-Saharan trade in the light of archaeometric research" Paper delivered at Society for Africanist Archaeologists (SAFA) biennial meeting Toulouse, France 28th June
46. Martinón-Torres M., Rehren Th. 2002"Agricola and Zwickau: theory and practice of Renaissance brass production inSE Germany" Historical MetallurgyVol 36 95 111
47. Martinón-Torres M., Rehren Th. 2009"Post-Medieval Crucible Production and Distribution: A Study of Materials and Materialities" ArchaeometryVol 51 49 74 [Crossref]
48. Martinón-Torres M., Rehren Th. 2014"Technical Ceramics" Roberts B.W., Thornton Ch. Archaeometallurgy in Global Perspective Springer New York 107 131 [Crossref]
49. Martinón-Torres M., Freestone I.C., Hunt A., Rehren Th. 2008"Mass-produced mullite crucibles in medieval Europe: manufacture and material properties" Journal of the American Ceramic SocietyVol 91 6 2071 2074 [Crossref]
50. Merkel S., Rehren Th. 2007"Parting layers, ash trays and Ramesside glassmaking: an experimental study" Pusch E.B., Rehren Th. Hochtemperatur-Technologie in der Ramses-Stadt. Rubinglass für den Pharao. Teil 1 Gerstenberg Hildesheim 205 225
51. Myers Oliver 1967"Excavations at Ife" West African Archaeological NewsletterVol 6 6 11
52. Nixon S. 2017"Essouk-Tadmekka. An Early Islamic Trans-Saharan Market Town" Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series 12 Brill Leiden
53. Ogundiran A.O. 2002"Of Small Things Remembered: Beads, Cowries, and Cultural Translations of the Atlantic Experience in Yorubaland" The International Journal of African Historical StudiesVol 35 2/3 427 457 [Crossref]
54. Ogundiran A.O. 2003"Chronology, Material Culture and Pathways to the Cultural History of the Yorùbá-Ẹ̀dó Region, 500BC-AD 1800" Sources & Methods in African History; Spoken, Written, Unearthed 33 79
55. Ogundiran A.O. 2014"The Making of an Internal Frontier Settlement: Archaeology and Historical Process in Osun Grove (Nigeria), Seventeenth to Eighteenth Centuries" African Archaeological ReviewVol 31 1 1 24 [Crossref]
56. Ogundiran A.O., Ige O.A. 2015"Our Ancestors Were Material Scientists. Archaeological and Geochemical Evidence for Indigenous Yoruba Glass Technology" Journal of Black StudiesVol 46 8 751 772 [Crossref]
57. Ògúnfólákan A. 1990"Luwo Potsherd Pavements in Ile-Ife" Нигерия: тридцать лет независимости. М 87 93
58. Ògúnfólákan A. 1994"Archaeological Investigation of Osun North-East" Osun State MA Thesis, University of Ibadan
59. Ozanne P. 1969"A New Archaeological Survey of Ife" Odu New SeriesVol 1 28 45
60. Pusch E.B., Rehren Th. 2007 Hochtemperatur-Technologie in der Ramses-Stadt. Rubinglass für den Pharao – Teil 1. Vol. 1 Gerstenberg Hildesheim
61. Rehren Th. 1997"Ramesside glass colouring crucibles" ArchaeometryVol 39 355 368 [Crossref]
62. Rehren Th. 2008"A review of factors affecting the composition of early Egyptian glasses and faience: alkali and alkali earth oxides" Journal of Archaeological ScienceVol 35 1345 1354 [Crossref]
63. Rehren Th., Freestone I.C. 2015"Ancient glass: from kaleidoscope to crystal ball" Journal of Archaeological ScienceVol 56 233 241 [Crossref]
64. Rehren Th., Pusch E.B. 1997"New Kingdom Glass-Melting Crucibles from Qantir-Piramesses" The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 127 141 [Crossref]
65. Rehren Th., Papachristou O. 2003"Similar like white and black: a comparison of steel-making crucibles from Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent" Stoellner Th., Körlin G., Steffens G., Cierny J. Man and Mining =Der Anschnitt, Beiheft 16 Bochum 393 404
66. Rehren Th., Yin M. 2012"Melt formation in lime-rich proto-porcelain glazes" Journal of Archaeological ScienceVol 39 2969 2983 [Crossref]
67. Rehren Th., Spencer L., Triantafyllidis P. 2005"The primary production of glass at Hellenistic Rhodes" Cool H. Annales du 16e Congres de l’Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre Nottingham 39 43
68. Rehren Th., Cholakova A., Zivanovic M. 2012"The making of black glass in Late Roman Doclea, Montenegro" New Antique DocleaVol 3 75 90
69. Robertshaw P., Magnavita S., Wood M., Melchiorre E., Popelka-Filcoff R.S., Glascock M.D. 2009"Glass beads from Kissi (Burkina Faso): chemical analysis and archaeological interpretation" Magnavita S., Koté L., Breunig P, Idé O.A. Crossroads/Carrefour Sahel. Cultural and Technological Developments in 1st Millennium BC/AD West Africa Journal of African Archaeology Monograph Series 2 Africa Magna Frankfurt a. M 105 118
70. Smirniou M., Rehren Th. 2011"Direct evidence of primary glass production in Late Bronze Age Amarna, Egypt" ArchaeometryVol 53 58 80 [Crossref]
71. Smirniou M., Rehren Th. 2016"The use of technical ceramics in early Egyptian glass-making" Journal of Archaeological ScienceVol 67 52 63 [Crossref]
72. Tanimoto S., Rehren Th. 2008"Interactions between silicate and salt melts in LBA glassmaking" Journal of Archaeological ScienceVol 35 2566 2573 [Crossref]
73. Turner W.E.S. 1954"Studies of Ancient Glass and Glassmaking Processes. I. Crucibles and Melting Temperatures Employed in Ancient Egypt at about 1370 BC" Journal of the Society of Glass TechnologyVol 38 436 444
74. Willett F. 1960"Ife and its Archaeology" The Journal of African HistoryVol 1 2 231 248 [Crossref]
75. Willett F. 1967 Ife in the History of West African Sculpture McGraw-Hill Book Company
76. Willett F. 1977 Baubles, Bangles and Beads: Trade Contracts of Mediaeval Ife Melville J. Herskovits Memorial Lecture 13 Printed by the University of Edinburgh for the Centre of African Studies Edinburgh
77. Willett F. 2004 The Art of Ife a Descriptive Catalogue and Database Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow
78. Wood M., Dussubieux L., Robertshaw P. 2012"Glass Finds from Chibuene, a 6th to 17th Century AD Port in Southern Mozambique" South African Archaeological BulletinVol 67 195 87 99
79. Wood M., Panighello S., Orsega E., Robertshaw P., van Elteren J., Crowther A., Horton M., Boivin N. 2016"Zanzibar and Indian Ocean trade in the first millennium CE: the glass bead evidence" Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences online DOI 10.1007/s12520-015-0310-z
80. Yin M., Rehren Th., Zheng J. 2011"The earliest high-fired glazed ceramics in China: the composition of the proto-porcelain from Zhejiang during the Shang and Zhou periods (c. 1700-221 BC)" Journal of Archaeological ScienceVol 38 2352 2365 [Crossref]
http://brill.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1163/21915784-20180002
Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1163/21915784-20180002
2018-08-01
2018-10-19

Sign-in

Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
     
    Journal of African Archaeology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation