Archaeological history of Roman glass
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Glass, in its natural form, has been used since the Stone Age, but it wasn't until about 3000 B.C., after the Phoenicians inadvertently "discovered" glass, that glassmaking techniques were developed and manufactured glass became an important part of human culture. In ancient times, people were conscious both of its utility and of its beauty. It was the Romans, however, who refined the art of glass working, adding to its utilization. Their established trade networks ensured its trafficking throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Several archaeological sites, as discussed in this paper, hold clues as to how glass was made and why it was so widely used and, in the beginning of its production, so highly prized.
Glass manufacture -- History