ISSN print edition: 0366-6352
ISSN electronic edition: 1336-9075
Registr. No.: MK SR 9/7

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Glass production in the Middle Ages from Italy to Central Europe: the contribution of archaeometry to the history of technology

Mariangela Vandini, Tania Chinni, Sara Fiorentino, Dagmar Galusková, and Hana Kaňková

University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy



Abstract: The present paper reports and discusses data obtained by a combined archaeological and archaeometric study carried out on an assemblage of selected Medieval glass finds from the Monastery of St. Severus in Classe (Ravenna, Italy) and ascribable to the 13–16th CE. Glassware belonging to three main typological groups was selected for this study: ampoules, nuppenbecher and kropfflasche. Such a choice mainly stems from the intent to evaluate typological and compositional affinities of these peculiar vessel typologies with the same forms unearthed in different regions of Central Europe, as a starting point for a possible reconstruction of trade contacts between Italy and Central Europe. Archaeological contextualisation of the site and chrono-typological study of glass vessels were associated to ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) and ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry) analyses, performed to characterise the composition of the glassy matrix (major and minor components as well as trace elements). The results, elaborated according to the archaeometric glass classification and provenancing of raw materials, shed new light on glass production in late Medieval times and can be broaden framed as a starting point for interpreting relations and exchanges between geographical areas and related cultures.

Keywords: Medieval glass industry ; Trade routes Central Europe ; Chrono-typological study ; Chemical components ; ICP-MS ; ICP-OES 

Full paper is available at

DOI: 10.1007/s11696-018-0441-7


Chemical Papers 72 (9) 2159–2169 (2018)

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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