Ancient Glassmaking

This is a good article for my book. National Geographic has a new article on the fact that an ancient Egyptian city yields the world’s oldest glassworks.

“Glass fragments unearthed in modern-day Iraq suggest that glassmaking began around 1500 B.C. in Mesopotamia and was kept a closely guarded secret for many centuries. Or so it was thought. “

Egyptians apparently got it at the same time.

“The artifacts reveal a two-stage manufacturing process. Raw materials, including silica and plant ash, were heated inside ovoid vessels that might have been recycled beer jars. The mixture was then crushed and washed before being colored and melted a second time in cylindrical molds to form round, glass ingots.

Rehren said these ingots would have been transported to workshops where skilled craftsmen made glass perfume bottles and other decorative items, such as inlays for furniture and luxury ornaments.”

I like this additional info:

“Red glasses, which use copper-based colorants, require a high level of technical know-how, according to Caroline M. Jackson, a senior lecturer in archaeology at Sheffield University, England. …Other colors produced during the Late Bronze Age (1600 to 1100 B.C.) ranged from purple and cobalt blue to yellow and white.”

In addition, it might be important in the description of the palace and such.because “glass was an elite material used to enhance power, status, and political allegiances.”

The whole article is fascinating. Wish I had Science. I think that would be a great journal to read.