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Publication Detail
Raw materials and technology of Medieval Glass from Venice: The Basilica of SS. Maria e Donato in Murano
Assemblages of medieval glass from Venice, the leading glassmaking centre in Europe, are rarely accessible for analysis. Here we present electron microprobe analyses of sixty-one glass vessels dated to between the 12th and15th centuries from the island of Murano, which from the late 13th century was the centre of glass production in the city. All appear to have used the same type of soda ash, with similar levels of soda, magnesia, potash and phosphate and this is likely to have originated in the Levant. The alumina, iron and titanium contents suggest that three different silica sources have been used for the glass. Comparison with the available data from Venice and elsewhere in northern Italy suggests that the assemblage may include material made on the island. Furthermore, there are similarities with glass from the Levant and Egypt raising the possibility that raw glass from several regions may be represented. However, records indicate that Venice imported sand as well as raw glass from the Levant, which remains a possibility in the present case.
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