Trace Element Analysis in Provenancing Roman Glass-Making

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Abstract

In this study, the use of trace elements as a provenance indicator for Roman natron glass is evaluated. Suitable glass-making sand raw materials are analysed for their trace elemental composition and compared to glass from known production centres. It is shown that the combined use of Nd isotopic and trace element analysis can be efficient for the provenancing of Roman glass. Trace elements associated with (de)colourants of glass are only present in small concentrations in glass-making sands. Background levels introduced to the glass by the sand raw material are defined and a lower threshold for the concentrations influenced by recycling is determined.

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