WHO WERE THE GLASSMAKERS? STATUS, THEORY AND METHOD IN MID-SECOND MILLENNIUM GLASS PRODUCTION
Glass was first produced in a regular and controlled manner in the Near East in the sixteenth century BC. This paper examines a wide variety of textual, archaeological and analytical sources to try and determine more about the makers of this first glass. It attempts to show how modern ideas about medieval glassmaking have been anachronistically applied to the second millennium BC, and readdresses this by turning instead to second millennium sources of evidence. Using these sources, it investigates the position of glass within Late Bronze Age society and the status of glassmakers themselves. It goes on to examine the evidence for ritual and experimental behaviour in LBA crafts and industries and applies this to ideas of technological innovation and change in the period. It looks at the alchemical nature of glass production and proposes new ways of attempting to understand the glassmakers themselves.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Centre for Archaeological and Forensic AnalysisDepartment of Materials and Medical SciencesCranfield UniversityShrivenhamSwindonWiltshire SN6 8LA
Publication date: 2007-08-01