About Ancient Glass


Definitions of Glass

Glass that is formed by volcanic action is called obsidian and can be found in many parts of the world and with intense heat of a volcano fuses masses of silica together, forming the hard glass.

Because of natural impurities, it is usually shiny, black, and opaque, but it can also be very dark red or green; its splinters are often transparent or translucent.  Humans probably began to use this natural material to make tools as early as 75,000 B.C.

As millennia passed, obsidian became valued for ornamental and ceremonial purposes.  Although other objects were produced, it was usually fashioned into tools and weapons.

Text is from the The Corning Museum of Glass. This link will redirect you to this site.


Ancient Glass

Around 15th century B.C., Egypt and Mesopotamia were two of the first places to produce core-formed and cast glass vessels.  Importation didn't occur until around the mid-first millennium B.C.

Approximately around 509–27 B.C., the Roman republic used such vessels as tableware, containers for perfumes, or medicines.

It is suggested that the Roman glass industry sprang from almost nothing and developed to full maturity over a couple of generations during the first half of the first century A.D.

Text is from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This link will redirect you to this site.