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d’archéologie orientale - Le Caire

Verre byzantin et islamiqueByzantine and Islamic Glass

Maria Mossakowska-Gaubert

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Poids en verre, fouilles de Fusṭāṭ (© IFAO)Glass weight, Fusṭāṭ excavations (© IFAO)
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FREESTONE, Ian C. ; GREENWOOD, R. ; GORIN-ROSEN, Yael
Byzantine and Early Islamic Glassmaking in the Eastern Mediterranean: Production and Distribution of Primary Glass
KORDAS, George
Hyalos, Vitrum, Glass. History, Technology and Conservation of Gllass and Vitreous Materials in the Hellenic World. 1st International Conference
Glasnet Publications, Athens , 2002, p. 167-174

[301, 900]
• Five main production groups of natron-type glass recognized from the Mediterranean region (4th-9th centuries A.D.):

– Egypt I:
- probably associated with glass production from the Wadi Natrun;
- characteristics: low CaO and high Al2O3.

– Egypt II:
- associated with non-precised egyptian glass production: 8th-9th centuries A.D.;
- characteristics: high CaO and low Al2O3.

– Levantine I:
- accociated with glass working centres in Apollonia, Bet Sheʾan, Dor and Jalome: 4th-7th centuries A.D.;
- characteristics: glass made using costal sand of the type that occurs around the mouth of the River Belus.

– Levantine II:
- product of the glass-making furnaces at Bet Eliʿezer (Hadera): early Islamic period;
- characteristics: lower CaO and Na2O, with higher SiO2 than in the Levantine I.

– HIMT glass:
- identified as a widely traded variety in the western Mediterranean: widespread sometime in the 4th century A.D.;
- characteristics: elevated contents of FeO, MnO, MgO, TiO2, correlated strongly with Al2O3.

•. Distribution of primary glass types in vessel assemblages:

– Ramla:
- archaeological context: 8th century A.D.;
- 9 samples of the low-potash, low-magnesia or natron type:
6 samples assigned to Levantine II type, 1 sample to Egypt II type (with caution), 1 sample to Levantine I type (with caution), 1 sample - failed analyses.

– North Sinai:
- context: field survey, mainly 4th-5th century A.D. material;
- 33 vessels were analyzed: chemical analyses: Na2O, MgO, Al2O3, SiO2, P2O5, SO3, Cl, K2O, CaO, TiO2,MnO, FeO;
15 samples assigned to HIMT type, 10 samples to Levantine I type, 2 samples to Egypt II type, 1 sample to Levantine II type, 5 samples unassigned.

– Rome:
- context: 4th-6th century A.D. material;
- 33 vessels were analyzed:
13 assigned to Levantine I type, 20 to HIMT type.

• Discussion:
– Both Levantine I and the HIMT compositions may be distinguished from the typical Roman glass compositions of the first-third centuries. They seem to have displaced Roman glass sometime in the fourth century.
– HIMT glass has yet to be identified in any quantity in northern Israel, where the production appears to have been dominated by Levantine I type glass.
– Possible locations of production of HIMT glass: North Sinai and Italy (along with many others).
– Probably in the early Islamic period, the Levantine II glass displaced this of the Levantine I composition.
Egypte Egypt production
Wadi Natrun production
Sinaï Nord North Sinai consommation
Israël Israel Arsuf (Apollonia) production
Bet Eliʿezer (Hadera) production
Bet Sheʾan (Nysa - Scythopolis) production
Dor production
Ramla consommation
Belus (rivière ) Belus (river) production
Italie Italy Rome consommation

Version 5, données dudata date 30 janvier 2013January 30th 2013