Glass is something we rather take for granted in the modern world. We have our windows with large, flat, clear panes; cheap jewellery might have coloured glass to mimic semi-precious stones; food comes in disposable glass jars.

But in ancient Egypt glass was more of a luxury item. Glass working & production were unknown before the New Kingdom, so glass used prior to that was naturally formed in the desert. And even once glass can be made rather than found it’s valued similarly to semi-precious stones.

And it didn’t even really look like our modern idea of glass – if I say “glass vessel” then whether you think wine glass or vase you’ll be thinking see through. But as these vessels demonstrate the Egyptian glass vessels were opaque and look more like painted stone at a glance.

These four date to the Ramesside period, in the second half of the New Kingdom. This was in the middle of the period when Egyptians made glass – it started around the time of Akhenaten and faded out at the end of the New Kingdom, only returning with the Ptolemies.

Ramesside Glass Vessels. New Kingdom, Dynasties 19-20, c. 1320-1085 BCE. Acc. No.s: 30.8.170 (plus others unknown)

They are now in the Met museum, the blue one at the back has the accession number 30.8.170 but I don’t have the details for the other 3.

See it on my photo site:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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