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Archaeometrical investigation on some medieval period glass bracelets

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2006
Derviş, Gülgün
Glass has been used to make a variety of artifacts including bottles, drinking cups, vessels, window glasses, beads and bracelets. Although occasional glass bracelets were dated back to 2000 BC, large scale manufacture of glass bracelets was encountered in Central Europe in the last centuries of 1000BC. During the excavations of Mezraa Höyük (Birecik-Şanlıurfa) in 2000-20002, a number of glass bracelets were unearthed that belongs to 13th century AD. On going excavations of Mersin Yumuktepe also give quite a lot of 11th-12th centuries Byzantine glass bracelets. In this study a group of those bracelets was started to be examined. After technical drawings, color identification had been carried out by using Munsell color chart. Thin sections of some samples of Mezraa Höyük have been prepared and then observed by an optical microscope in Mineral Research and Exploration (MTA). Observation of thin sections showed the amorphous structure of glass with some impurities and gas bubbles. On some samples deteriorated surface layers were present. XRD traces of those layers showed the typical amorphous background of glass in which no crystalline phase is present. Elemental analysis of the samples has been done using ICP-OES method in METU Central Laboratory. In the analysis major (except SiO2), minor and some trace elements were determined. ICP-OES data showed that glass bracelet samples studied are of soda-lime-silica glass. But percentage of Na2O is less than expected from typical composition of soda-lime-silica glass; being 10.5 wt % as average. This might be due to removal of Na ions from the glass network because of leaching under burial conditions. Concentration of Al2O3 in the samples of Mezraa Höyük is almost same. This may be due to the using one type of quartz sand in bracelet production. Color producing elements seem to be Fe, Mn and Cu.