MAS Exhibition 2019, "Magic Glass" Oksana Veber
People had used naturally occurring glass, especially obsidian (the volcanic glass) before they learned how to make glass. Obsidian was used for the production of knives, arrowheads, jewellery and money.
The ancient Roman historian Pliny suggested that Phoenician merchants had made the first glass in the region of Syria around 5000BC. But according to the archaeological evidence, the first man-made glass was in Eastern Mesopotamia and Egypt around 3500BC and the first glass vessels were made about 1500BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. For the next 300 years, the glass industry was increased rapidly and then declined. In Mesopotamia, it was revived in the 700BC and in Egypt in the 500’s BC. For the next 500 years, Egypt, Syria and the other countries along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea were centres for glass manufacturing.
archaeological and literary sources in his interpretation of the impact of glass production on the ancient world.
By relating a technical industry (glassmaking) to the cultural and religious values of the societies that employed it,
the author presents an interesting perspective
on ways the development of vitreous craft knowledge was incorporated into existing religious values
and practices in ancient civilizations.
He also relates advances made in glass industries (especially glassblowing) to their affect on scientific discovery
and cultural changes from ancient Egypt to early modern civilizations…
The study of the ancient art of glass making and the way in which it joined with the art of alchemy,
is a fascinating exploration of another way of looking at nature that has resonance today.
(The author) has combined document sources with artistic and archaeological evidence to piece together the history of glass production…