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Parting layers, ash trays and Ramesside glassmaking: an experimental study

Merkel, S.; Rehren, T.; (2007) Parting layers, ash trays and Ramesside glassmaking: an experimental study. In: Pusch, E.B. and Rehren, T., (eds.) Hochtemperatur-Technologie in der Ramses-Stadt: Rubinglas für den Pharao. (pp. 201-220). Verlag Gebrüder Gerstenberg: Hildesheim, Germany. Green open access

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A series of glassmaking and glass colouring replication experiments was undertaken in order to test some of the current hypotheses concerning Late Bronze Age glass production at Qantir-Piramesses. These were based on the model of glassmaking developed in this volume, and aimed in particular to test the behaviour of the parting layer and the local ceramic under the proposed chemical and thermal conditions. Modern ash trays made out of Egyptian Nile silt clay were used as proxies for LBA reaction vessels and crucibles, and both raw glass and coloured glass ingots were produced in them. This experimental study, based on detailed observation and technical studies of archaeological samples from Qantir-Piramesses, not only provides material readily comparable to the archaeological finds, but brings to the forefront practical issues concerning the nature of the parting layer, its application, the melting procedures, the re-use of crucibles, and indirect evidence of primary production, such as the impact of sodium chloride, a major component of plant ashes, on the ceramic. Although this string of experiments does not fully replicate LBA glassmaking technology, much information was obtained and further areas of ambiguity identified.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Parting layers, ash trays and Ramesside glassmaking: an experimental study
ISBN-13: 9783806787061
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: glassmaking, glass colouring, reaction vessels, cylindrical crucibles, parting-layer, Qantir, Pi-Ramesse, Egypt, Late Bronze Age, glass melting, ancient technology
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/7099
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