Chemical characterisation of glass waste and crucible fragments from the late 17th - early 18th century Scottish glass manufacturing site at Morison's Haven, East Lothian

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Abstract

Glass waste and crucible fragments from the late 17th – early 18th century Scottish glass furnace at Morison's Haven, East Lothian was characterized using a range of analytical techniques (SEM-EDX, p-XRF, LA-ICP-MS and micro-XRF). Morison's Haven is the earliest excavated glass furnace in Scotland. The glass working waste provides a unique opportunity to compare the actual composition of some of the glass produced with the documentary records of raw materials used at the site and the types of glass artefacts produced. The work provides new technological and economical insights into the nature of glass production in the early 18th century in Scotland.

Fourteen samples of glass working waste and three crucible fragments were examined. Two types of mixed alkali glass were found to be produced at the site neither being of a HLLA type as suggested by initial visual analysis. The first was a high quality soda-rich glass made with barilla and a pure sand source. The second type of glass was a range of lower quality mixed alkali glass at least partially fluxed with kelp ashes and using a range and mixture of less pure sand sources. This was most likely used to make windows or lower quality vessels. LA-ICP-MS analysis suggests that sand from two different sources were selected to make the two types of glass.

This work is the first attempt to chemically characterize glass waste from a Scottish glass manufacturing site and adds to the known documentary and archaeological evidence to provide more knowledge pertaining to the early glass manufacturing industry in Scotland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-466
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
Volume18
Early online date20 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

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