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Keywords:

  • EGYPT;
  • AMARNA;
  • NEW KINGDOM;
  • GLASS;
  • RAW MATERIALS;
  • PROVENANCE

Analysis has been conducted on 19 blue glasses from Amarna in Middle Egypt dated to around 1350 BC. The results suggest that these glasses fall into two distinct types: cobalt coloured glasses with a natron based alkali made from local Egyptian materials, and copper coloured glasses with a plant ash alkali, which follow a Mesopotamian tradition of glass making. It is suggested that at least some of this copper/plant ash glass is imported into Egypt during the Amarna period despite extensive local production of cobalt/natron glass. Existing analyses (Lilyquist and Brill 1995) of the earliest glass from the reign of Tuthmosis III (c. 1450 BC) suggest that during this period the same two types of glass are present. Local Egyptian cobalt and natron in these early glasses implies that, despite the lack of archaeological evidence for production sites, glass was produced from its raw materials in Egypt as early as the reign of Tuthmosis III.