Isotopic discriminants between late bronze age glasses from egypt and the near east

P. Degryse, A. Boyce, N. Erb-Satullo, K. Eremin, S. Kirk, R. Scott, A.J. Shortland, J. Schneider, M. Walton

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This paper presents oxygen, strontium and neodymium isotopic analysis from a series of Late Bronze Age glasses from Egypt and Mesopotamia. It was found that oxygen and neodymium isotopes alone cannot readily distinguish between glasses from the various sites. However, combined Sr and Nd isotope analysis separate the data into three groups: an Egyptian group with relatively low Sr and Nd ratios; a Late Bronze Age (LBA) Nuzi group with high Sr and low Nd ratios; and an intermediate Sr and high Nd ratio grouping of glasses from Tell Brak. These findings suggest that most of the glass from Nuzi and Tell Brak had different raw materials and hence the glass was probably produced at different manufacturing sites. However, one glass ingot found at Tell Brak (TB1) appears to have Nuzi-type Sr–Nd characteristics. This is the first positive identification of multiple production sites in LBA Mesopotamia and an exceptional example of a glass that may have been exchanged from one LBA site to another.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2010


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