Archaeology Lunchtime Talk
From Sand to Super-cool Liquid – a sort of alchemy: Glass in Roman times
With Dr Denise Allen, Assistant Director, Andante Travel.
Glass is a mysterious, beautiful and versatile material - not a true solid but a ‘super-cooled liquid’ - and scientists still don’t completely understand its exact nature.
It comes from cheap and plentiful ingredients – sand and natural sources of soda – which are transformed into exquisite transparency and an infinite variety of forms. The Romans in particular became masters of mass-produced glass, cracking the secret that allowed them to produce blown glass vessels for all.
Denise Allen has studied Roman glass for many years will explain the extraordinarily long history of glass from earliest times, the uses to which it was put, and how the industry might have worked.
Denise studied archeology at Cardiff University before embarking on a PhD that looked at evidence for glass and glass making in Roman Britain.
Since then she has written scores of specialist reports for sites such as Silchester and the Roman Baths at Caerleon, as well as the Shire book on Roman Glass in Britain. She is currently Deputy Director of Andante Travels who specialise in tours to the Classical World and further afield.