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Scientists trace the roots of ancient Rome’s clear glass to Egypt


The scientists closely assessed 37 shards of ancient glass excavated from the city of Gerasa in Jordan. They measured the isotopes of hafnium in the glass, and matched it to the sand found along the river Nile in Egypt.

One of the colourless Roman glass sherds from Jerash, Jordan, analysed in this study. Purple splashes are iridescence due to weathering. Photo: Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project.

A team of researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark has traced the origins of ‘Alexandrian’ glass — a prized material used extensively during the Roman period — to Egypt. Based on the quantities of the rare ...


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