The University of Reading (UK) has launched new research on the remains of Glastonbury Abbey. These have revealed the oldest archaeological evidence of crystal creation in Britain.
Professor Roberta Gilrichst, from the Department of Archeology at the University of Reading, in collaboration with the Trustees of Glastonbury Abbey and with funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, has re-examined the records of the excavations that took place at Glastonbury in 1950 and 1960.
This has disproved the original theory that the abbey's glass-making furnaces would date back to the time of the Norman conquest.. Radiocarbon testing, funded by the Somerset Society for Archeology and Natural History and the Society for Medieval Archeology, place its origin in 680 AD. and they would fit with a general reconstruction of the abbey carried out by King Ine of Wessex. There are historical documents from 670 AD. They talk about the making of glass in York and Wearmouth but Glastonbury is the oldest archaeological evidence of this kind of industry in Britain.
The investigations have served to identify the remains of five furnacesas well as fragments of green and blue clay and glass crucibles that would be used to create vividly colored windows. It is believed that the glass specialists came from Gaul (France) to work at Glastonbury.
The remains will be chemically analyzed by Dr. Hugh Willmott, a crystal specialist, to learn more about the source and the materials they contain. Professor Gilchrist, who plans to publish her findings shortly, states: “Glastonbury Abbey is a site of international historical importance but excavations have so far remained unpublished. The research project reveals new clues about the early days of the monastery and accompanies its development over more than a thousand years, from the 6th to the 16th centuries.”.
Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.