Glass in antiquity. Exhibition

Glass bottleThe antiquities museum has about 80,000 objects.

Only 6,000 of them are permanently exhibited.

Some of the others are sometimes shown in temporary exhibitions.

One of them is on now; it is called Brilliant Glass.

450 of the museum’s glass objects are there.

The subject of the exhibition is glass in antiquity; from its invention, about 1500 BC in Mesopotamia and Syria, till the early Middle Ages.

Before we saw the exhibition, there was a lecture by Dr Ruurd Halbertsma of the museum.

In those about 2,000 years, there were various developments in glass.

From the 15th century BC, glass was made in Egypt; see also here; and here.

Objects were small and opaque, looking somewhat like ceramics.

It was expensive to make, with the core glass technique, the oldest technique.

Only pharaohs and their inner circle could afford it, and even they often not very many objects.

Maya, chancellor of the exchequer of Pharaoh Tutankhamen, had only three glass objects in his grave.

Later, in Alexandria in Egypt, a new technique, with moulds, was developed.

Later still, in the first century BC, glass-blowing was invented in Syria.

That made mass production possible, making glass affordable to people of various classes and regions of the Roman empire.

There is a poem at the exhibition by Esther Jansma on a Roman perfume bottle, of a type of which people in the nineteenth century thought that it was for collecting mourners’ tears at graves.

Prehistorical natural glass from western Egypt: here.

Glassmaking may have begun in Egypt, not Mesopotamia. Artifacts from Iraq site show less sophisticated technique, color palette. By Bruce Bower, 12:00pm, November 22, 2016: here.

5 thoughts on “Glass in antiquity. Exhibition

  1. Pingback: Glass in antiquity. Lecture | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Perfume in the ancient Middle East and Egypt | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Unique Dark Ages silver bowl discovery in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Ancient African ostrich eggshell beads, new research | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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