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Israel was World Center for Glass Production

July 25, 2016

by: Edgar Asher, Ashernet

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Jezreel_Valley_glass6699_web_dispatch_082016_iaaWhile overseeing infrastructure work on the Jezreel Valley Railway Project in northern Israel, IAA archaeologist, Abdel Al-Salam Sa’id, noticed chunks of glass and an ash layer inside a trench. He halted construction work at the site to allow for more investigation. Ancient glass kilns were discovered.

Archaeologists have dated these kilns from the late Roman period—approximately 1,600 years ago. The kilns are regarded as the oldest known kilns in Israel and confirm that Israel was one of the foremost centers for glass production in the ancient world.

This is the first time that kilns have been found that indicate that much of the glass production of the time originated from this area. Chemical analysis carried out on glass vessels from the period in other parts of Europe show that the source of these vessels is from this region. Glass vessels were used in every household from the Roman period onwards. Glass was also being used in windows and mosaics, thus causing a significant demand in production facilities of the time. The kilns and glass artifacts are being removed from the site and made available for public view.

Photo Credit: Ashernet and IAA

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