TitleNew light on plant ash glass found in Africa: Evidence for Indian Ocean Silk Road trade using major, minor, trace element and lead isotope analysis of glass from the 15(th)-16(th)century AD from Malindi and Mambrui, Kenya
AuthorsSiu, Ieong
Henderson, Julian
Qin, Dashu
Ding, Yu
Cui, Jianfeng
Ma, Hongjiao
AffiliationPeking Univ, Sch Archaeol & Museol, Beijing, Peoples R China
Univ Nottingham, Dept Class & Archaeol, Univ Pk, Nottingham, England
Univ Nottingham, Ningbo, Peoples R China
Issue Date13-Aug-2020
PublisherPLOS ONE
AbstractSeventeen glass vessels and twenty glass beads recovered from the excavations at the ancient city of Malindi and the archaeological site of Mambrui in Kenya, east Africa were analysed using electron probe microanalysis (EPMA) and laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). The results show that all of the glass samples are soda-lime-silica glass. They belong to the high alumina -plant ash glass type, characterised by high alumina and relatively low calcium contents, widely distributed in eastern (10(th)- 16(th)centuries AD) and southern Africa (13(th)- 15(th)centuries AD), Central Asia (9(th)- 14(th)centuries AD) and southeast Asia (12(th)- 13(th)centuries AD), made with plant ashes and sands. This is an understudied glass type for which previous research has indicated there were three types. When compared with published research on such glasses using Zr, Ti, Ba, Cr, La, Li, Cs, Na2O, MgO and CaO we have identified at least four different compositional groups of v-Na-Al glass: Types A, B, C and D. By comparing the results with contemporary v-Na-Al glass vessels and beads from Central Asia, Africa, and southeast Asia we show that most of the Malindi and Mambrui glass share similar characteristics to the compositions of Mapungubwe Oblate and some of the Madagascar glass beads from southern Africa. They belong to Type A v-Na-Al glass which is characterised by an elevated level of Ti and Ba and a relatively high ratios of Cr/La, relatively low Zr concentrations and low ratios of Zr/Ti. Differences in Zr, Li, MgO and Na2O concentrations in Type A glass indicates that there are subgroups which might derive from different glass workshop(s) specialising in Type A v-Na-Al glass production. Comparison with the chemical compositions of glass from Ghazni, Afghanistan and Termez, Uzbekistan, and by using lead isotope analysis, we suggest v-Na-Al glass was manufactured in Central Asia and possibly worked into vessels and beads there.
Appears in Collections:考古文博学院

Files in This Work
There are no files associated with this item.

Web of Science®

Checked on Last Week


Checked on Current Time


Checked on Current Time

Google Scholar™

License: See PKU IR operational policies.