Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


18 March 2014

Shades of blue – cobalt-copper coloured blue glass from New Kingdom Egypt and the Mycenaean world: a matter of production or colourant source?

M. Smirniou & Th. Rehren Journal of Archaeological Science 40:12 (December 2013): 4731-4743.


Cobalt blue glass has long now been recognised as characterised by a distinct compositional signature within the typical compositional range of Late Bronze Age glass. More recently, a copper-rich variation of cobalt blue glass has been seen throughout Egypt and the Mycenaean world. This paper discusses and defines this glass type based on trace elemental data, examines whether this lighter-shaded cobalt blue glass is a natural or an anthropogenic variant of cobalt blue glass, and identifies its likely production in Egypt. It investigates the role of this type of glass, particularly with regard to the distribution pattern and the significance of its prevalence in the Mycenaean mainland and the Aegean.


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