Hostname: page-component-7479d7b7d-pfhbr Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-15T19:00:47.426Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Batch Material Processing and Glassmaking Technology of 9th Century B.C. Artifacts Excavated from the Site of Hasanlu, Northwest Iran

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2011

Colleen P. Stapleton
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-2501
Samuel S. Swanson
Affiliation:
Department of Geology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602-2501
Get access

Abstract

The site of Hasanlu is located southwest of Lake Urmia (Lake Rezaiyeh) in the province of Western Azerbaijan, northwest Iran. Excavations carried out by Dr. R. H. Dyson, Jr. of the University of Pennsylvania from 1957 to 1977 of the Iron Age levels at Hasanlu yielded a large number of glass beads, as well as glass vessels, and glass furniture inlays or wall fittings. Sampling of many of these pieces was limited to weathered areas, requiring the use of a micro-analytical technique to characterize the glass. Electron microprobe and wavelength dispersive analysis were used to characterize the chemical compositions of the glasses of Hasanlu. The glasses are soda-lime-silica in composition, containing about 17-21 wt% soda and 2-8 wt% lime. of 51 glasses analyzed to date, 47 contain about 1-6 wt% of magnesia and 1-4 wt% potash, indicative of a plant ash source of alkali. Four glasses contain less than 1 wt% each of magnesia and potash, suggesting that these may have been made with a mineral alkali source like natron.

At least 35 glasses contain inclusions of partly reacted batch materials. In blue transparent to translucent, black translucent, and yellow opaque glasses, large, 0.2 mm diameter, droplets of alkali sulfates exhibit features that indicate they were an immiscible liquid coexisting with a surrounding silicate liquid. These sulfate droplets, which appear to be relatively common in the glasses found at Hasanlu, are probably the scum or “gall” that can form during melting of poorly prepared plant ash. Remnants of original raw colorants occur in a few glasses. Many of the black glasses contain polymetallic sulfides of different combinations of lead, copper, antimony, and iron. These inclusions and the glass chemistry are used to interpret the origin and processing of the batch materials, and the conditions under which the materials were melted.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2002

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

REFERENCES

1. Oppenheim, A.L., Brill, R.H., Barag, D., and Saldern, A. von, Glass and Glassmaking in Ancient Mesopotamia (The Corning Museum, Corning, New York of Glass, 1970).Google Scholar
2. Brill, R.H., Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses, Volumes 1 and 2 (The Corning Museum of Glass Corning, New York) 1999.Google Scholar
3. Freestone, I.C. and Stapleton, C.P., in Gilded and Enamelled Glass from the Middle East, edited by Ward, R. (British Museum Press, London, 1998) pp. 122128.Google Scholar
4. Brill, R.H., The Glassmakers of Herat. Video. (Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY) 1972.Google Scholar
5. Sayre, E.V., in Application of Science in Examination of Works of Art (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1965) pp. 145154.Google Scholar
6. Hartmann, G., Kappel, I., Grote, J., and Arndt, B., J. Arch. Sci. 24, 547559. 1997.Google Scholar
7. Shortland, A.J. and Tite, M.S., Archaeometry 42 (1), 141151. 2000.Google Scholar
8. Freestone, I.C., presented at the 2001 AIHV Meeting, New York/Corning 2001.Google Scholar
9. Dyson, R.H. Jr, Expedition 31 (2–3), 311. 1989.Google Scholar
10. Stapleton, C.P. and Swanson, S.E., Journal of Glass Technology (in press 2002).Google Scholar
11. Turner, W.E.S., Transactions of the Society of Glass Technology 40, 277T300T, 1956.Google Scholar
12. Brill, R.H., in Excavations at Jalame: Site of a Glass Factory in Late Roman Palestine, edited by Weinberg, G.D. (1988) pp. 257294.Google Scholar
13. Freestone, I.C., Gorin-Rosen, Y., and Hughes, M.J., La route du verre, TMO 33, (Maison de l'Orient, Lyon, 2000) pp. 6583.Google Scholar
14. Smedley, J.W., Jackson, C.M., and Welch, C.M, in Abstracts of Association Internationale pour l'Histoire du Verre, XV Congress, New York/Corning, October 15–20, 2001 2001.Google Scholar