Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Here's All to Know about Egyptian Glass: Op-ed

Tue 05 Apr 2022 | 07:13 PM
opinion .

In ancient times, glass was a rare and valuable commodity, as those who knew how to make it possessed powerful technology.

The antiquities that were discovered in Egypt east of the Nile Delta indicate that glass was made from raw materials in about 1250 BC.

The antiques were found at the site of the capital of pharaoh Ramses II and have revealed the oldest known site of glass-making around the world, which has been dated to the Bronze Age.

The second oldest discovery of glassware was on the island of Rhodes in Greece, dated to around 200 BC (more than a thousand years after the glass products of the ancient Egyptians).

Besides the use of glass in amulets, beads, and inlays, there have been attempts to use it for more ambitious projects.

In ancient Egypt, glass was made by the method of cold forming and cutting molds. The molding method was an important technique in the glass industry in Egypt that was abandoned due to the introduction of the blowing technique in the Roman Era.

Glass-making tools and ores were known after the following 3 years of excavations in the Qanater area, the site of the reign of Ramses II. The finds are dated to the era of Ramses II, who rules Egypt when it was a powerful empire.

The effects indicated two stages of the manufacturing process. The raw materials, which include silica and plant, were burned in oval vats which are likely re-use of wine jars.

Then the mixture is crushed and washed before coloring is applied, and then melted into cylindrical molds, to form round glass ingots.

These ingots are transported to workshops where skilled craftsmen make perfume bottles and decorative items, such as furniture inlays and precious ornaments.

The ancient Egyptian glass is considered to be a semi-precious stone made of an exquisite and precious material, which was mostly under royal control and given special statements.

The glass industry declined after the era of the 21st Dynasty (1096-946 BC) and was revived again during the rule of the 26th Dynasty (664-525 BC), but it continued to decline.

Contributed by Israa Farhan