Compositional analysis of Late Medieval glass from the western Balkan and eastern Adriatic hinterland

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Abstract

In this work, we investigate on the origin of Late Medieval glass from 12 previously and recently excavated archaeological sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina and South Croatia (Dalmatia). The present work aims to contribute to filling the data gap on the glass distribution in the Balkan region, as well as to provide new insights on glass trade and its impact in the region. Up to now, the knowledge of Medieval glass from the western Balkan (Bosnia up to Bobovac) and eastern Adriatic hinterland (Dalmatian hinterland between Zadar and Dubrovnik, and Herzegovina) remained limited. The lack of archaeometrical data caused limited comparisons with similar materials from other regions in which Venetian glass was used. A representative sample set of 129 glass fragments from the second half of the fourteenth century to the beginning of the fifteenth century was analysed by combined particle-induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and particle-induced gamma-ray emission (PIGE) measurements. The studied glass vessels are mostly different from the characteristic Venetian shapes, but they are made with Venetian raw glass, demonstrating the Venetian vitrum blanchum was already widespread in the Adriatic in the second half of the fourteenth-beginning of the fifteenth c. An open question remains whether the origin of the glass vessel production was specifically Venetian or local by adopting the Venetian technology and importing the raw materials.

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Change history

  • 04 March 2019

    Cl is given as ClO (wt%) in Table 2. This should be corrected to Cl. Several oxides (TiO2, Cr2O3, CoO, CuO, ZnO, As2O3, Rb2O, Br, SrO, ZrO2, PbO) are given as ppm while it is written that they are given as wt% in Table 3.

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Acknowledgements

We express our gratitude to Vedrana Delonga of the Museum of Croatian archaeological monuments in Split for granting permission to analyse glass fragments from the excavation of Bribir, as well as to the director of the museum, Ante Milošević. We also thank Mr. Toni Glučina, director of the Archaeological Museum Narona, for providing glass finds from Vid near Metković. All fragments were analysed at Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb and Jožef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana. For editing the text, we thank Ms. Meredith Olivia Terry, M.D., as well as to anonymous referee.

Funding

The work of Ž. Šmit was supported by the Slovenian Research Agency (research core funding No. P6-0283).

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Correspondence to Nikolina Topić.

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The original version of this article was revised: Cl is given as ClO (wt%) in Table 2. This should be corrected to Cl. Several oxides (TiO2, Cr2O3, CoO, CuO, ZnO, As2O3, Rb2O, Br, SrO, ZrO2, PbO) are given as ppm while it is written that they are given as wt% in Table 3. Given in this article were the corrected Tables.

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Topić, N., Radović, I.B., Fazinić, S. et al. Compositional analysis of Late Medieval glass from the western Balkan and eastern Adriatic hinterland. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 11, 2347–2365 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-018-0712-9

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Keywords

  • Eastern Adriatic hinterland (Dalmatia Herzegovina)
  • Western Balkan (Bosnia)
  • Late medieval
  • Glass
  • PIXE
  • PIGE