Global Interconnections in Journal of Glass Studies, Volume 64

Journal of Glass Studies 64 has arrived at the Museum. This jewel of an issue with its emerald-green and gold cover contains the work of 39 authors from 12 countries. Its 12 articles and 11 Notes explore glass from around the globe and reveal exciting interconnections—geographical and disciplinary. The issue offers a complex portrait of a world linked by glass.

The authors investigate glass from the Bronze Age to the 20th century, looking at objects from Turkey, Poland, and Sri Lanka; Sudanese Nubia, Egypt, the Roman Empire from Cologne to the Middle East; as well as Jordan, Italy, China, Croatia, the Czech Republic, India, and the United States.

Pre-modern glass artifacts under investigation reveal new sites of early glass production and routes of exchange. A study of a Late Bronze Age crucible from Tell Atchana in the Amuq Valley, Turkey, offers the first evidence of early glassmaking in the northern Levant—the only previously known centers were in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Potash glass fragments from Tissamaharama in Sri Lanka point to ancient and medieval glass trade across South and Southeast Asia. Consideration of the origin of a glass plate found in Sudanese Nubia reveals a third-century CE luxury glass trade between the African kingdom of Meroe and Roman Cologne. Emerald-green glass found in the medieval Islamic fortified town at Aqaba, Jordan, a port on the Red Sea, provides later evidence of extensive trade in luxury vessels. And glass rosary beads from Dubrovnik demonstrate medieval European pilgrimage.

Scientific analyses of glass composition appear in six articles—accompanied by compositional tables and Scanning Electron Microscope images—and merge with historical studies in discussions of the Bronze Age crucible, the Tissamaharama (Sri Lanka) potash glass, a piece of a Roman cage cup, Islamic luxury glass, colorful Chinese enamels, and Indigenous glass in modern India.

Studies of glassmaking processes and products are enhanced by consideration of cuneiform tablets, histories of glass collecting, recipes in medieval manuscripts, iconography, and labor history. Post-colonial studies supported by glass science show Chinese enamel color development as a local endeavor, not merely an adoption of techniques taught by European missionaries. Global politics inform a survey of costume jewelry production in Jablonec in the Czech Republic. An ethnographic approach to glassmaking in India tracks and helps preserve the history of a disappearing Indigenous industry.

In Journal of Glass Studies 64, global glass from Sudan to South and East Asia to the American Midwest is explored, challenging assumptions about a range of topics from the origins of glassmaking to the role of women in manufacturing. We invite you to pick up a copy and reconsider how glass connects global communities.

Decorated plate from Sai Island Meroitic cemetery 8-B-5.A. Diam. 18.3 cm. SFDS – Sudan Nation Museum, Khartoum. (Photo: © Vincent Francigny)

For more information on volume 64, please visit our website. Volume 64 of the Journal of Glass Studies joins a distinguished collection of CMoG publications, listed on the Publications Department webpage.

If you are interested in purchasing the Journal of Glass Studies 64, it is now available online via the CMoG Shops. All CMoG publications are available online, including earlier volumes of the Journal of Glass Studies. Volumes published in 2015 and earlier are available for the discounted price of $5.00 here.

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