2,000 year old glass-making workshop discovered in Poland
Cracked glass beads, pieces of melted glass and glass "teardrops" are among the remains of the glass workshop, which operated approx. 2,000 years ago on Mount Grojec in Żywiec. It could be the oldest place of this type in Poland.
|Archaeologists at work on Mount Grojec [Credit: T. Gralak]|
Mount Grojec, now covered with forest, is a frequent destination for residents of Żywiec and many tourists. "The mountain is located centrally in Żywiec Valley and offers a great view of the area. Probably for this reason a settlement was established here more than 2,500 years ago," said Dr. Gralak.
|Crucibles discovered during excavations [Credit: T. Gralak]|
"It was here that half-processed material in the form of lumps of raw glass or metal bars was delivered and finished items were made," said Dr. Gralak.
|Finds of glass objects [Credit: T. Gralak]|
In addition to furnaces, scientists have discovered slag glass - heavily melted lumps of glass, which are waste products of the workshop's activity. There were also broken fragments of lumps of raw glass supplied from glassworks. Archaeologists also found glass "tears", another type of production waste.
|Raw bronze bar [Credit: T. Gralak]|
The fact that the studied site was a workshop is further evidenced by the discovery in the form of a large well/cistern dug nearby. Water was in fact necessary during the course of metalworking. There are crucibles, which were used for melting bronze, as well as the stone grinders needed to form the objects at the final stage. It can not be excluded that some of these objects were also used in the production of glass beads. This, however, can only be confirmed by further expert analysis, added reserved the archaeologist.
|Add capArchaeologists at work on Mount Grojec [Credit: T. Gralak]tion|
"They were probably influenced by Celtic tribes, which had the knowledge of glass processing. But it was a local population, limited to the mountain areas", concludes the head of excavations.
|The view of Mount from Janikowa Grapa [Credit: T. Gralak]|
Recent excavations at Mount Grojec took place in 2012-2014 under the auspices of the University of Wroclaw and the Municipal Museum in Żywiec. The results will be published this spring as part of the series "Archäologische Forschungen in Niederösterreich" in the volume accompanying the symposium XI Frühgeschichtlichen Konferenz "Archäologie der Barbaren 2015".
Author: Szymon Zdziebłowski | Source: PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland [January 28, 2017]