2001 年 44 巻 1 号 p. 25-41
Resent research on ancient Near Eastern vitreous materials by non-destructive X-ray fluorescence revealed regional differences in glass manufacture based on chemical composition. Our high-powered synchrotron radiation energy-source enabled us to detect rare earth and heavy trace elements, which provided a chemical signature for the glass. In this study, we compared two ancient Egyptian glass vessels with Roman and Parthian glass.
The Egyptian vessels, both bearing the name of Amenhetep III of the 18th dynasty, had nearly identical chemical compositions, suggesting that they were manufactured from the same batch of glass. The coloring agents include copper for blue, and antimony for white. The importation of antimony to supply the glass industry is further evidence of Egypt's role in international commerce.
We then compared the 18th dynasty vessels with other glass specimens from Roman Egypt and the contemporary Parthian glass. The specimen for Roman glass was mainly obtained from Malkata South, a site close to the palace of Amenhetep III in Egypt. Other Parthian samples came from the site of Deilaman, Iran. The data revealed clear compositional differences between the 14th century BC glass and Roman/Iranian glass. However, the Roman glass was not easily distinguished from the contemporary Iranian glass. The homogeneity of these glass samples suggests that the ingredients for making glass were obtained from the same geographic location.
During Graeco-Roman and Byzantine periods, a number of primary glass industries sprouted along the eastern Mediterranean coast. It appears that these local industries contributed to the creation of a vast commercial network throughout the Near East.