Scientific analyses of the glass finds from the late antique-medieval city quarter to the south of the Church of Mary in Ephesos

As part of the dissertation project »Glass from a Late Antique and Medieval City Quarter in Ephesos« analyses of the chemical composition of glass is being conducted in collaboration with J. Henderson (University of Nottingham). The results are expected to provide information on the production technology as well as on the origin and the commercial value of the objects.

Chemical analyses of historical glass provide information about their regional attribution, dating, and production technology and also contribute to the assessment of their durability. Different chemical groups of glass can be identified through the impurities of the added sand. Despite the geographical proximity to primary glass production centers and the commercial and political importance, very little is known about the chemical composition of glass from sites in Asia Minor.

Methods


 

  • Electron probe microanalysis (EPMA): Composition and concentration of main and secondary group elements
  • Laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS): Analysis of trace elements
  • Thermal ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS): Identification of radiogenic isotopes (Nd and Sr)

Research questions


  • Can a local glass production be verified in Ephesos and/or are the glass finds from the city quarter imported goods?
  • Which differences can be discovered in the chemical composition of the material (window panes, vessel glass)?
  • Is there a link between the chemical composition, the vessel shape, and the economic value (high vs. low quality) of vessels