Chemical composition and deterioration of glass excavated in the 15th-16th century fishermen town of Raversijde (Belgium)
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Spectrochimica acta: part A: molecular and biomolecular spectroscopy. - Oxford
, p. 1647-1656
University of Antwerp
The chemical composition, as determined by electron probe X-ray microanalysis of a series of ca. 100 archaeological glass fragments, excavated at the Raversijde site (Belgium) is discussed. In the 15th-16th century, Raversijde was a flourishing fishermen town located on the shore of the North Sea, close to the city of Ostend. As a consequence of several battles that were fought in its vicinity, the site was abandoned in the 16th century and was not occupied since then. It is one of the rare archaeological sites in Europe that contains a significant amount of information on the daily life inside a small but affluent medieval community. A comparison of the chemical composition of fragments of vessels and window glass encountered in Raversijde to those found in urban centres in Belgium and to literature date on German and French archaeological finds shows that glass made with wood ash dominates. Usually, it concerns artifacts with a predominantly utilitarian use. A few objects made with sodic (i.e., Na-rich) glass were also encountered, likely to have been imported from Venice during the 15th century or in later periods from an urban centre such as Antwerp, where Facon-de-Venice glass manufacturing activities were established near the start of the 16th century. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.