Raqqa: Glass Workers

Date: Late eighth century to c. 820

Excavations in the industrial zone between al-Raqqa (ancient Kallinikos) and the new Abbasid city of al-Rafiqa revealed a glass workshop, dating from the late eighth century through to c. 820. The workshop was constructed in a disused bathhouse, making use of the hypocaust floor and walls. The workshop made a variety of glasses using mineral colourants. Analysis of the glass and glass waste from the site provided evidence for a shift from soda-lime glass to the use of a new flux made from plant ashes.

Citation: Henderson, Julian, “Archaeological and scientific evidence for the production of early Islamic glass in al-Raqqa, Syria”, Levant 31 (1999), pp. 225-40; idem., “Archaeological investigations of an Islamic industrial complex at Raqqa, Syria”, Damaszener Mitteilungen 11 (1999), pp. 243-65; idem., The Science and Archaeology of Materials: An Investigation of Inorganic Materials (London and New York: Routledge, 2000), pp. 76-90.