Mycenaean glass from the Argolid, Peloponnese, Greece: A technological and provenance study

N. Zacharias, M. Kaparou, A. Oikonomou, Z. Kasztovszky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Major glass-technology achievements and the spread of glass artifacts are mostly outlined in the archaeological record between the 16th and 12th c. BCE with its advances being linked to Mesopotamia and Egypt (Henderson, 2013 [1]). During the Late Bronze Age, Peloponnese is acknowledged as a major area of the Mycenaean world witnessed by the wealth and ubiquity of its material culture. Within the framework of a large research program, glass collections from 16th–13th c. BCE Late Bronze Age/Mycenaean sites in NE Peloponnese, Greece, have been studied analytically and tailored to address issues related to questions such as, whether glass was imported in the form of ingots and/or previously shaped artifacts via exchange routes or produced in local glassmaking workshops. A first study of the collection towards its state of preservation and provenance assignments was presented in Zacharias et al. (2013) [2]. The aim of this paper is to identify the technology and source of the primary glass used and, thus, to appoint the Mycenaean glass industry of Argolid within the broader Mycenaean, Mediterranean network and further Egypt and Mesopotamia. The study resulted in the chemical fingerprinting of the collection with the use of the totally non-invasive techniques of Optical Microscopy (OM), X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF), Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis (PGAA) and Scanning Electron Microscopy coupled with an Energy Dispersive X-Ray Analyser - (SEM/EDS) in quasi invasive mode. The statistical analyses provided technological evidence for compositional similarities among the samples that form two major compositional groups, with at least the one associated with artifacts originating from Egypt. Regarding their coloration at least two cobalt colorants can be identified with respect to the cobalt-associated impurities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-417
Number of pages14
JournalMicrochemical Journal
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy

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