Vitreous Materials at Amarna: The production of glass and faience in 18th Dynasty Egypt


SKU: 9781841710389
Author: Shortland, Andrew J
Publication Date: 01/01/2000
Publisher: British Archaeological Reports Oxford Ltd
Binding: Paperback
Media: Book
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This book investigates the technological processes involved in the making of ancient vitreous materials concentrating on the site of Amarna, in Middle Egypt. Amarna was the capital city of the 18th Dynasty king, Akhenaten (1352-1336 BC). The manufacture of vitreous materials in Dynastic Egypt reached its zenith in terms of artistic and technical accomplishment in the 18th Dynasty. Amidst the debate over the source of these technological advances, whether some of the vitreous materials were imported or manufactured locally, the entire process of manufacture is examined, from the selection of raw materials, preliminary processing and eventual firing right through to the distribution of the finished objects. Analysis of the finished objects and the waste materials of the production sequence by scanning electron microscope and other techniques forms the principal source of evidence, supported by close examination of the archaeological context. The significance of the different types and colours of glasses is examined and compared to the material from tomb paintings and texts, which sheds light on the relationship between Egpytian glass and Mesopotamian glasses. The overall social and political climate of the city of Amarna and other New Kingdom towns is also considered where this might help our understanding of the conditions of craftsmen in vitreous materials or of the overall control of the industry.