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Compositional identification of 6th c. AD glass from the Lower Danube

Cholakova, A; Rehren, T; Freestone, IC; (2016) Compositional identification of 6th c. AD glass from the Lower Danube. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports , 7 pp. 625-632. 10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.08.009. Green open access

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Abstract

A group of finds (vessels, raw glass chunks, window panes) from three sites in present-day Bulgaria was selected as representative of the circulation and usage of glass in the Lower Danube region during the 6th c. AD. In total, 79 samples were analysed by EPMA and/or LA-ICP-MS techniques. The data quality was assessed for each analytical run according to the measurement of reference glasses and to pairs of results obtained from representative samples of archaeological glass analysed by both techniques. Combining EPMA and LA-ICP-MS data allowed a sufficiently consistent and unified set of primary results to be formed. As already suggested in an earlier preliminary paper, only a single glass composition was found to dominate the 6th c. contexts in the region. The current study recognises this 6th c. glass from the Lower Danube as identical with the so called 'Serie 2.1.' defined by D. Foy and co-workers (2003) in various assemblages in Southern France and North Africa. The major, minor and trace oxide evidence presented here indicates that this is a distinct primary glass composition, with an iron-rich sub-group tentatively differentiated within the main group. Accordingly, an attempt is made to situate it relative to the other main primary compositions in the region. The proposed interpretation is that the 6th c. glass should not be linked to the HIMT glass despite the nominal similarity between them due to their elevated iron oxide, manganese, and titania concentrations. Instead, a possible link between the geochemical characteristics of the 6th c. glass and an earlier group of manganese decolourised glass, equivalent to 'Serie 3.2.' outlined by D. Foy and co-workers (2003) is suggested. This may imply the use of sand from a broadly identical geological area, hence it is possible that both the 6th c. glass and the manganese decolourised composition are likely to share a common origin.

Type: Article
Title: Compositional identification of 6th c. AD glass from the Lower Danube
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.08.009
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.08.009
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Glass; Late Antiquity; Balkans; Compositional glass groups; EPMA; LA-ICP-MS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1475226
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