Provenance of polychrome and colourless 8th–4th century BC glass from Pieria, Greece: A chemical and isotopic approach

Publication date: February 2017Source:Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 78
Author(s): A. Blomme, P. Degryse, E. Dotsika, D. Ignatiadou, A. Longinelli, A. Silvestri
Glass objects from Pydna and Methoni in modern-day Greece, dated to the eighth to fourth century BC, were chemically investigated. The combined use of multiple analytical techniques allowed the elemental and isotopic characterization of these polychrome and colourless glass artefacts in order to examine their provenance. All fragments were found to be soda-lime-silica natron-based glass produced from a rather pure silica-rich sand containing sea shells, and mixed with natron possibly coming from more than one source. Based on the strontium and neodymium isotopic signatures, most glass artefacts likely derive from a Syro-Palestinian production site although the exact location is unknown. Also the oxygen isotopic signature of most of the samples suggests the manufacturing of the artefacts from raw materials with a primary origin along the Syro-Palestinian coast. Nevertheless, the use of particular raw materials cannot be excluded for some artefacts, as some samples show enriched δ18O values pointing to a different glassmaking tradition.