Department of Archaeology
   
   
  

Medieval and Post-Medieval Glass production in Europe

Director: Julian Henderson with Prof. Patrick Degryse (University of Leuven), Prof. Trevor Brown (University of Derby), Dr. John Sheppard (University College, London), Dr. J. Gawronski (Amsterdam Archaeology Unit), Dr. Veeckman (Antwerp Museum), Prof. Melanie Leng (British Geological Survey, UK), Dr. Jane Evans (British Geological Survey, UK), Andy Meek (AHRC student, The University of Nottingham) 

Funded by: the University of Leuven, the National Environmental Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council

The fully integrated market economy of northern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries involved the specialised manufacture of glass from imported plant ashes, the establishment of glasshouses involving Italian glass artisans and trade in glass ingots. Compositional groupings of Façon de Venise and imported Venetian glasses, vitrum blancum and cristallo can be distinguished. Our project builds on these compositional distinctions in order to provenance the glass for the first time in a period spanning the high medieval and post-medieval periods.

The chemical and isotopic (Sr, Nd) analyses of raw glass found at dated glass factory sites across northern Europe have shown that we can distinguish between glass made in different production centres in northern Europe and also between production centres in northern European and in the Veneto. This data will enable us to be certain where the glass and vessels were manufactured. Until now it has often been extremely difficult to establish this using only vessel forms.

A stunning stained glass window. The cobalt blue glass sometimes consists of a recycling 'Roman' type

Evidence for glass working from the late 16th century Soop glasshouse (courtesy of the Amsterdam Archaeology unit)

 

Evidence for glass working from the late 16th century Soop glasshouse (courtesy of the Amsterdam Archaeology unit)

Evidence for glass working from the late 16th century Soop glasshouse (courtesy of the Amsterdam Archaeology unit)

 

 

Publications

Medieval and Post-Medieval Glass Finewares from Lincoln: an Investigation of the Relationships between Technology, Chemical compositions, Typology and Value, The Archaeological Journal 162, 2006, 256-322.

 

 

Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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