What is Ancient Glass?

Ancient glass necklace on top of other pieces of ancient glass.

The mysteries of history are sometimes revealed in fragments and bits and pieces. Sharp tools chipped from volcanic obsidian are the first recorded uses of glass, dating back to the stone age. Glass vessels were first created, most likely,by the people of Mesopotania and Ancient Egypt. By the time of ancient Rome, glass had become a status symbol. Glass was used to create functional objects, from tiny bottles to large bowls. Artisans were in demand, and they were making glass by mixing two simple ingredients: silica and soda. Silica sand is made of crushed quartz, and by adding soda, or soda carbonate, the silica would melt at a low temperature. The soda used was basically salt, collected from dry lake beds, as Natron, a type of salt! From partial fragments to intact vases, the remains of these household objects are recovered from archaeological sites in areas around Afghanistan, Egypt and modern day Israel.
Perhaps little bits of broken glass aren't holding much scientific interest, but these fragments have caught the attention and imagination of new artisans who are reinterpreting shards of color into wearable art. Gathered along the old Silk Road trading route, broken fragments are cut into beads and discs and sold around the world to a new generation of people entranced by the sea colors,eroded surfaces, specs of luster and hidden stories.


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