Can you tell glass from stone?


We all know about the Italian Murano glass, but the fact is that the art of glass-making was inherited during the roman empire from the more ancient ancestry. The history of glass beads dates back to 3500 BC, when dedicated artists from Mesopotamia (the present-day area of parts of Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Turkey and Iran) crafted them with ingenuity and finesse. Interestingly, at that time the beads were not only an adornment, but the ancient version of money, traded all around the developed world. Not to go deeply into the history I want just to show something that impressed me – the imitation of stone (banded agates) by the ancient glass-makers. In the left column – stone, in the right – glass.

These beads are from the collection of Henry Anavian (Persian, Parthian and Roman periods 800 BC – AD 300).

If you are interested to learn more about the breathtaking history of the beads – check out the book “The History of Beads” by Lois Sherr Dubin

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