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Glass, glass cakes and tesserae from the Petra Church in Petra, Jordan

Marii, Fatma; (2008) Glass, glass cakes and tesserae from the Petra Church in Petra, Jordan. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study is concerned with the glass finds excavated from the Petra Church. It focuses on the glass cakes, which were found concentrated in Room IX of the church together with other glass fragments. The aim is to document these cakes and analyse them for their archaeological and technological significance. Petra Church dates from the late 4th to the early 7th centuries AD and revealed a glass collection consisting of transparent fragments, mosaic tesserae and cakes. Heaps of glass fragments were found at the floor of the room adjoining the church. Such collections were recorded also in several other contemporary sites of the Byzantine Levant. This indicates that these rooms were collecting points or storage areas for glass materials to be traded or recycled. Almost eight kilograms of cake fragments were documented. These fragments showed varieties in their colours and textures. Optical microscopy examinations for both cakes and tesserae samples revealed an abundance of bubbles and inclusions. The backscatter electron microscopy and energy dispersive spectrometry examination reveals that the majority of these inclusions are calcium phosphate and manganese oxide, which has not been recorded before in Byzantine glass. A few inclusions that were detected are metallic-based, and are part of the additives used in the glass. The different compositional groups identified reflect different sources used for their production in different periods. The glass cakes are interpreted to be evidence for recycled glass, and possibly experimentation with new raw materials, at a time of increasing natron shortage in the Levant.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Glass, glass cakes and tesserae from the Petra Church in Petra, Jordan
Identifier: PQ ETD:591630
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest. Third party copyright material has been removed from the ethesis. Images identifying individuals have been redacted or partially redacted to protect their identity.
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1444327
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