- Date: Monday 13th February 2017
- Time: 14:30
- Venue: The Cyprus Institute – Guy Ourisson Building, Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Athalassa Campus
- Speaker: Prof. Thilo Rehren, Professor of Archaeological Materials and Technology, UCL Institute of Archaeology, London
*The colloquium will be in English, the event is open to the public, light refreshments will be served after the talk.
The past 20 years have seen massive progress in our understanding of the way how and where glass was made and worked during the Late Bronze Age, and how it helped shape relations between the three main cultural spheres of the time in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the wider Mycenaean world. This presentation will introduce essential aspects of LBA glass as an elite material and its specific characteristics compared to the later mass-produced transparent glass of the Hellenistic and later periods, and the current understanding of its role and information potential in the archaeology of the Ancient Near East.
The advent of Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry has revolutionized how we see and understand LBA glass, enabling us to reconstruct the logistics and details of glass making, and to trace its movement across the three cultural spheres and beyond at a time when it served as a major item of diplomacy as well as a prestige fashion statement, and architectural highlight. This reveals interesting contrasts to the earlier picture based on archaeological, historical and linguistic sources, each showing different facets of the Past. This progress also enables us to more clearly put into focus future research questions and to devise appropriate research strategies to address them, within a framework of academic collaboration between scholars of the Humanities and the Physical Sciences.
Professor Thilo Rehren, Archaeological Materials and Technology, UCL Institute of Archaeology, London, trained as an Earth Scientist with a PhD in Volcanology, is studying the Island Arc magma development of Nisyros in the Dodecanese. From 1990 he worked as a research scientist at the German Mining Museum’s then-new Institute for Archaeometallurgy, developing a wide range of expertise in mostly non-ferrous metallurgy. His Habilitation in Materials Science from the Mining Academy in Freiberg (Saxony) was on the role of crucibles in early technology (1997).
In 1999 he was appointed Professor of Archaeological Materials and Technologies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, where he built up a large research team covering ancient metals, ceramics, and glass on a global scale. During this time he established a strong research profile in the study of LBA and Roman to Byzantine glass, as well as specialist crucible processes. For several years he also led the Institute’s China engagement, with collaborations with the Terracotta Army Museum and Peking University, among others. From 2011 to 2016 he served as founding Director of UCL Qatar, a postgraduate department focussing on research, teaching and professional development in Archaeology, Conservation, Museum Studies and Library Studies in the wider Arab World. He is currently on sabbatical, supervising two postdocs and writing up a range of projects, focussing on the EMME region.
This event is part of the CyI Colloquium Series. View all CyI events.