Home Add to Favorite Contact Submit  
             20 September, 2019
 

    
Category:  Articles » Arts & Culture

 

Ancient Glass History

Popularity:
         Views: 1684
2010-09-06 04:55:29     
Article by Gopal Dey

Little is known about the production of glass in the ancient world. One early source, Pliny the Elder (AD 23 – 89), reported the tale of natron (soda) merchants who, when they stopped to prepare a meal, supported their cooking vessels on the beach with blocks from their cargo. The heat of the fire fused natron and sand, and a new substance was formed. This, Pliny says, was the origin of glass.

Glass-like materials were used in Egypt long before the production of glass itself. Egyptian faience, a popular material used in the production of amulets and small vessels, was a mixture of quartz sand with an alkali binder. It was molded, and then fired, causing a bright glaze to migrate to the surface. Real glass is more difficult to produce, because its ingredients must be heated to a high enough temperature to melt and then fuse completely. Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets contain some references to glass making, indicating that it was a very difficult and secret undertaking. There is no ancient recipe for the making of glass, but it may be that in an attempt to duplicate the glazes formed in pottery making, the mixture of sand, soda and lime bonded compatibly, thus forming the 4,000 year old lump of blue rod found near Eshuna, which dates from 2,000 BC, is the earliest glass that has been found.

In about 1,500 BC, the technique of “core forming” developed in both Egypt and Mesopotamia. This new method was an important breakthrough in glass making. It was a technique that remained in use for over a thousand years, allowed for the production of glass vessels in a thousand years, and allowed for the production of glass vessels in variety of shapes. A core of mud of about the same size as the completed vessel was placed on the end of an iron rod. A second rod was dipped into containers of colored molten glass, and the glass was wound around the core material. This process was repeated many times until the core was covered. The next step was to wind bands of colored glass around the core glass and to comb them into a design. The final additions – the rim, the base and may be the handles – were added last. The piece was slowly cooled and then polished. It was a lengthy and expensive process, and core-formed glass was available only to rulers and nobility.

The Millefiori technique (Italian for “a thousand flowers”) was also known in Mesopotamia as early as 1500 BC. This method required a group of various colored glass rods to be placed in a cylindrical mold. They were heated and fused together, and were then pulled from a small tube, like taffy. This created a pattern that was then sliced and placed side by side into a decorative mold, in order to create the final shape. This method too was expensive and time consuming to produce and its colorful patterns were again available only to the wealthy.

Glass blowing was probably the greatest single advance in glass technology. This revolutionary process was discovered around the middle of the first century BC and seems to have been practiced from the first century AD on. It involved capturing a molten glass bubble on a hollow metal blowpipe and inflating it to the desired shape and size. It could be either blown free form or blown into a mold, or a combination of two. The speed and relative ease with which this technique could be handled opened new vistas for the production and use of glass in the ancient world.

Glass blowing developed at a time when the Roman Empire, under Augustus Caesar and his successors, wanted peace (Pax Romana), stability and a better way of life, and this included consumer goods. The combination of a new technology and a demand on the part of the Roman citizen allowed the new method to forge ahead, and blown glass began to rival pottery and metalwork, both in speed of production and in variety of shapes and sizes. Its smooth surface was easy to clean for reuse, eliminating the storage problem of porous pots.

Syria became the “glass factory” of the Roman Empire, and goods were shipped and stored in glass bottles and wine flowed from glass jugs. Blown glass was finally inexpensive and available to all.

Today, many examples of ancient Roman Glass are available to collectors. Unguent aria or “tear bottles”, as they are often called, are the most common items of Roman blown glass. They vary in size, but usually have a somewhat bulbous base with a long slender neck and a flat rim. The color varies from colorless to pale blue/ greenish hues, and they sometimes are covered with an iridescent patina. Unguent aria was used for perfumes, cosmetics, and oils, and is fine examples of ancient glass that can be collected today.

Specialized in: Sadigh Gallery Ancient Art Company - Sadigh Gallery - Sadigh Gallery Art - Sadigh Gallery Ancient Art
URL: http://www.sadighgallery.com
Print article      Bookmark this page
Related Articles 
Beautify Your Home With Original Vintage Posters (Popularity: ): Original vintage posters can be an excellent choice if you are looking to beautify home walls or improve the look and feel of its interiors. Now the question is where you can find such vintage posters? The answer is Internet. By simply searching in the Internet, you can discover a great number of poster dealers. Many of them would claim to sell original vintage posters. However, you need to do ...
The Significance of Kids Magician in Birthday Parties (Popularity: ): Giving a dashing birthday party has become fashion among many contemporary parents. Celebrating the birthday of their son or daughter is not their only motto, but they try to reveal richness through the elaborate arrangements of stunning birthday parties. Any party of such kind will include light music, kids magician for entertaining the children in the audience and refreshment of all kinds of visitors. There are many event planners in ...
Immerse Yourself In The Music, Dance And Storytelling Culture Through North India Cultural Tours (Popularity: ): Diverse is one word that comes to mind when one thinks of India’s culture. There are twenty eight States, all vastly different from each other in terms of language, customs, traditions, cuisines and way of dressing. Each region has something unique to offer. A cultural tour is a great way to understand the enigma called India. North India in particular has a lot to offer on this front. North India ...
Getting audio video recording for an event (Popularity: ): Audio recording coupled with video recording is a money-spinning technique that helps to get two things done at the price of one. It is beneficial for all and sundry in the trade and involves gathering of information obtainable at a particular event. Accordingly, audio video recording for conferences as well as events have stretched out and nearly all the companies performs event video recording in order to have a remembrance ...
Banquet Halls Houston (Popularity: ): Banquet Halls In Houston- If you are looking for a banquet hall in Houston where the professional planners will handle every aspect of your event whether it's a wedding, reception, chapel ceremony, birthday, graduation, anniversary or corporate seminar and let you sit back and enjoy your event, Grande Vista, which is a Houston banquet hall, is the right choice. Our professional party planners have years of experience planning and guiding ...


Related Business 
Art glass - Jonathan Harris (Popularity: ): Jonathan Harris is a Shropshire based studio glassmaker specializing in the ancient technique of hand carved cameo glass, glass engraving and bespoke Art glass designs worldwide.
Mysteries of Ancient History and Archaeology (Popularity: ): Follow the traces of the famous Amazons, the ancient history of Malta and the enigmatic culture of the Berbers
Parthian Empire - The History of Ancient Parthia (Popularity: ): Educational web site dedicated to the history and coins of ancient Parthia with sections on geography and resources.
About.com - Ancient History (Popularity: ): Resource provides articles, quizzes and other sources related to the ancient world.
Xiaoxian Dongfang Glass Company Ltd. (Popularity: ): Xiaoxian Dongfang Glass Company Ltd is China Glass Manufacturer and exporter. The Glass Company mainly produces: Tempered Glass, Low-E Glass, Fire Proof Glass, Laminated Glass, Bullet Proof Glass, Ultra-thin Glass, Decorative glass.tempered glass, layer glass, bullet-proof glass, insulated glass, auto glass and other deep-processed glass products.
Ancient Egypt: the Mythology (Popularity: ): Covering deities, symbols, and myths, along with articles about ancient Egyptian culture and history.
Wheaton Village (Popularity: ): Leading resource of American craft with an emphasis on the medium of glass, a stronghold in New Jersey's cultural history. The Museum of American Glass is the largest museum in the country dedicated to preserving the history of glass made in the United States.
ADM Glass (Popularity: ): ADM GLASS provides you with CUSTOM CUT, CUSTOM GLASS of desired shape and size according to customer needs. We have a variety of glass products in our glass shop such as Glass Table Top, Tempered Glass, Glass Replacement, Glass Shelf, Beveled Glass, Oval Mirror, Square Mirror, Mirror Glass which are best in quality.
Daystrom Spaceframe Institute Procurement Team (Popularity: ): Created to search out ancient history and to find ancient technology. They are working out of Deep Space 33.
Bible Genealogy and Ancient History (Popularity: ): Genealogy of the Bible that includes: individual details, Bible cross reference, Hebrew meaning of names, lineages, dates, maps, timeline, countries, cities, contemporaries and Ancient Dynastic History of Mesopotamia and Egypt.