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A geochemical approach to the study of archaeological glassy materials

Boek - Dissertatie

In this dissertation, knowledge from social sciences and humanities was combined with that of natural sciences, especially Earth Sciences, to study man-made glass and faience artefacts from selected case studies from the Iron Age and Early Modern periods.The manufacture of man-made glassy materials relies on the exploitation of natural mineral resources. Moreover, since glassy objects inherit the chemical fingerprint of the geological provinces from which the raw materials used in their manufacture derive, geochemistry is essential in provenance studies. In fact, geochemistry can be used to pinpoint the geographical origin of an artefact, given the known proximity between primary or producing workshops and the favored silica source, but also to understand the raw material procurement strategies of glassy producing societies. While sand is not known to have been subjected to long-distance trade, the same cannot be said for other main components used in the production of man-made glassy objects, particularly the fluxing agents and (de)colorants or opacifiers. Earth Sciences, especially geochemistry, is, therefore, essential to reconstruct trade/exchange routes of both raw materials and finished glassy artefacts within or between different communities. Furthermore, the identification of the raw materials used in the production of man-made glassy artefacts, not only reveals how human societies adjust and interact with the environment, but is essential to better comprehend the technological know-how required for their manipulation and use in the manufacture of these objects.Ultimately, this dissertation enabled the creation of new non-destructive and minimally invasive analytical methodologies that can be used to gain insights into glassy materialsU+2019 provenance and production technology, and to better comprehend the history and ethnography of the communities that produced, used, and trade or exchanged them.
Pagina's: xxvi, 269 p.
Jaar van publicatie:2021