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Glass and glass production in the Oman peninsula in antiquity reconsidered - chemical and mineralogical investigation of sands

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd A batch of green- and amber-coloured glass chunks and unguentaria dating from the first century CE was found in 2007 at Dibba al Hisn, a site on the Arabian Sea coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Its elemental and isotopic composition revealed the glass to be of a previously unknown plant ash glass type, different from known contemporary Roman, Mesopotamian, and Indian glass. The Sr isotopic composition of the glass corresponds to locally available plants, pointing to the possible existence of a first-century CE local glass production centre. To explore this possibility, sands from around the UAE were analysed to establish their suitability for glass making and correspondence with the Dibba finds. This paper presents the results of the elemental analysis of fourteen sands. The analysis, performed using inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), revealed all sands to be rich in lime and alumina. X-ray diffraction revealed the presence of calcite and other carbonate minerals, as well as antigorite and quartz. Comparison of the sand compositions to average first-century CE non-Roman glass found at Dibba showed them to be unsuitable as raw material for producing the glass of Dibba. The evidence thus identifies this glass batch as imported, contrary to what was suggested before. This paper also reviews the occurrence of thick-walled unguentaria in the region.
Tijdschrift: Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy
ISSN: 0905-7196
Issue: 1
Volume: 29
Pagina's: 93 - 101
Aantal pagina's: 9
Jaar van publicatie:2018
Authors from:Higher Education