Projet GlassRoutes (H2020)

Mapping the First Millennium Glass Economy

Date de début de projet :

Domaine scientifique principal : Humanités & Société

Type de projet: prix

Résumé / Présentation

The production of raw glass up until the early medieval period was restricted to few primary glassmaking centres in the
Levant and Egypt producing glasses with distinct chemical fingerprints that were then shipped all over the
Mediterranean. The study of glass thus provides a unique perspective on long-distance communications and shifts in
economy, trade and cultural interactions. This project explores the production, trade and consumption of glass as a
major economic activity in the medieval Mediterranean. The chronological parameters are the 4th to 12th centuries CE,
covering a period of significant diversification and technological innovations in glass production. The project addresses
three broad gaps in our understanding of these developments: Byzantine glassmaking; the spread of Islamic plant ash
glass; and the role of the Iberian peninsula. GlassRoutes will push the frontiers of glass research by integrating
chemical, archaeological and documentary data about these three key players in the medieval glass economy. By
comparing the material and artistic aspects of glass assemblages from selected Mediterranean sites it will identify
patterns in the manufacture, trade and usage of glass.
The aim of GlassRoutes is to establish the socio-cultural and geopolitical dimensions of glass. What types of primary
(raw) glass are found at different sites? How do they compare in terms of secondary use (types of artefacts)? What are
the reasons for the differential use of glass and its colours? Research will examine the provenance of the material in
relation to its use for selected artefacts to reveal the economic and cultural mechanisms underlying the culture-specific
use of glass. This project is unique in its interdisciplinary approach; it combines archaeological, historical and analytical
data as well as statistic tools to characterise the dynamic relationship between supply and consumption and its
implications for artistic practices and technological innovation.

Responsable / porteur / P.I. : Nadine Schibille

Lieu principal : Orléans

Périmètre d'action : International

Tutelle : CNRS

Laboratoires impliqués : IRAMAT