Through the "Prism" of Archeology


The history of glass leads us into deep antiquity. It is known that in Egypt and Mesopotamia they were able to make it already 6000 years ago. Probably, the glass began to be produced nevertheless later than the first ceramic products, since its production required higher temperatures than for clay firing. And if only clay was enough for the simplest ceramic products, then the glass contains at least three components.

The Cup of Pharaoh Thutmose III
The Cup of Pharaoh Thutmose III
 Glass products, as well as ceramic, is practically resistant to weathering and is well preserved even under a layer of earth. These products are the most important documents of the distant past. They brought us invaluable information about the level of culture and technology of ancient peoples. Thanks to glass, the greatest works of art from different eras of the culture of mankind have reached our time.

Probably, the method of blowing glass products was invented in various places where glassmaking was cultivated at about the same time. However, it is generally accepted that the blowing method was invented in Alexandria in the first century BC. At first glance, it is surprising that people learned how to make glass products of complex hollow configuration, but did not know how to make flat glass. However, the reason for this was its very thorough technical difficulties.

Vessels for Ointments. Rome, 1-3 centuries.
Vessels for Ointments. Rome, 1-3 centuries.
The legend, recounted by the ancient Roman scholar Pliny, attributes the invention of glass to the Phoenician merchants who were bringing soda from Egypt to Mesopotamia and decided to spend the night on the sandy shore. The imported soda mixed with sand and got into a bonfire divorced by merchants, and in the morning, the Phoenicians discovered pieces of unprecedented substance among the coals that had cooled down.


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