Home :: Ancient glass

Ancient glass

ancient glass Glass accompanies the person at all stages of history of his development. The beginning a glass making is lost in the depth of centuries and, constantly developing, proceeds up to now. However, as it is strange, in modern science doesn't exist neither the uniform theory of a structure of glass, nor the uniform theory of its origin. The most widespread assumptions are stated only.

How, where, when and who started making artificial glass? To this question there are different versions. Glass artificial material that was created by man, but there are also natural glass - obsidians, which are formed in magmatic melts at high temperatures during volcanic eruptions and falling meteorites. Obsidians are translucent black glass, with high hardness and corrosion resistance and were used in ancient times as a cutting tool. Some believe that obsidians pushed person to create their synthetic analogues, however, the area of the natural and artificial glasses are not the same. Most likely, that the notions of glass developed in close connection with the making of pottery and metalwork. Perhaps in the early stages of glassmaking ancient masters saw analogy in the properties of glass and metal, which identified technological receptions of processing of glass. Recognizing the glass of the same metal (plasticity in hot condition, hardness in the cold), ancient created the opportunity to migrate in glassmaking techniques of treatment of metals. This way were borrowed crucibles for melting glass mass, molds for the casting of products, processing methods hot working (casting, welding). This process took place gradually, especially in the first stages, so different in their nature, glass and metal.

The earliest of the «theory» of the origin of glass - proposed Roman scholar Pliny the Senior in the «Natural history»:

«One day, in a very distant past, Phoenician merchants brought on the Mediterranean sea cargo produced in Africa natural soda. Overnight, they landed on the sandy shore, and began to prepare their own food. For lack of a hand stones surrounded the fire large pieces of soda. In the morning, raking ash, merchants found a wonderful ingot, which was hard as a rock, burned by fire in the sun and was crisp and clear as water. It was glass.»

The story of this very poor, even Pliny himself begins to his words, «fama est.....» or «rumors have it...», because the formation of glass with the temperature of the flame of a fire in the open space cannot happen. More likely assumption German scientist Wagner who joined the appearance of glass with obtaining metals. In the process of melting of copper and iron were formed by toxins, which could under the influence of heat turned into glass. Now it is difficult to determine exactly how it was invented glass, but without a doubt, this discovery was accidental.

Egyptians made color glass The most ancient products only had the glassy layer on the surface of the porcelain, and found in the tomb of Pharaoh Djoser (III dynasty of the old Kingdom in Egypt, 2980-2900 BC). Glass samples in the form of ingots, Dating back to the XXII XXI centuries BC, discovered during excavations in the Ancient Mesopotamia.

Glass making began to develop in the middle of the third Millennium BC, and it is associated with the civilization that occurred in the valleys of the Nile, Tigris and Euphrates, on the island of Crete and other individual Nations, such as the Phoenicians. In Egypt, glass production reached its flowering time to XYIII dynasty (1560-1350 BC), when the center of glass making became the capital of the Xiva. From this epoch has reached us of a glass jar and a bead with the name of the Pharaoh Thutmose W. Beads are ancient objects completely made of glass. Such beads were representatives of the ruling house, and they were not so many decorations, how many amulets. It was a luxury available only to a very influential and wealthy people.

Egyptians made color glass whereas in Mesopotamia preferred the transparent. Jewelry - beads, sticks, strips was the first glass products. However already in XYI of century BC in Mesopotamia learned to do glass vases, their fragments are found by modern archeologists.

ancient glass vase ancient coloured glass vase Approximately at the same time know-how of hollow glass seized in Egypt. The Egyptian masters placed the form made of pressed sand, in the melted glass and turned a form in such a way that glass settled on form walls. Then a form with glass took out, sand deleted, preparation cooled and made final processing. We were reached by three vases of those times on which there is a name of the Pharaoh Tutmozis (Tutmos) of III (1594 - 1450 BC) which brought glaziers into Egypt as prisoners of war after successful campaign in Asia.

Archeologists managed to find and the remains of ancient glass workshops on east coast of Nile, working about 3400 years ago. There crucibles for glass cooking, in a form reminding small barrels 40 cm high and with a diameter of 27 cm in wide places and 23 cm - in narrow remained.

The first window, really flat glass for the first time appeared much later, in Ancient Rome. It was discovered during excavations of Pompeii and dates back to the year of the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius, 79 ad, Window glass were obtained by casting on the flat stone surfaces. Of course, the quality of the glass much different from today's. This glass was painted in greenish tone and Matt (colorless glass at the time of manufacture did not know how), contained a large number of bubbles, which pointed to the low temperature of boiling, and it was pretty thick (about 8-10 mm). But, nevertheless, it was the first case of application of glass in architecture that has given a significant impetus to the further development of glass making and dissemination of glass throughout Europe.

Later glass started making in Mycenae (Greece), China and India. With X centuries BC it is possible to speak about production of glass in the Far East. And since the IX century BC the center the glass making became Alexandria, from where it extended to Rome.

greenish and brownish color glass vases Ancient glass products were usually painted in greenish or brownish color because of impurity to glass. Products from colourless glass were especially expensively appreciated. It is known that the Roman emperor Neron (AD) paid 37-68 N of N for two bowls from colourless glass the gold exceeding their weight.

Of color glasses learned to make fakes under jewels. These fakes were appreciated on an equal basis with jewelry from natural stones. It is known that since ancient times to stones semi-precious stones miracle properties which help their owners were attributed. So, was considered that sapphire gives clarity to thoughts and cures leprosy; смарагд (emerald) drives away bad dreams, takes away dark thoughts and calms heart; turquoise brings happiness in love; amethyst softens rage, bridles a wind and protects from intoxication; beryllium - the kind companion of wanderers also cures cataracts; pomegranate or anthrax gives carrying its power over people and awakes love passions: the jasper cures all diseases and so on. The same properties were attributed also to color glasses. Already in ancient Egypt were able to make a color beads in imitation many jewels.

Fine samples of glass scarabs (the Egyptian sacred bugs) are stored in the Moscow Museum of fine arts of a name of Pushkin.

First "instruction" on production of glass is dated about 650 g BC. These are plates with instructions how to do the glass, being in library of the Assyrian tsar Ashurbanipal (669 - 626 BC).

By