Researchers find initial justification of glassmaking in sub-Saharan Africa

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Scholars from Rice University, University College London and a Field Museum have found a initial approach justification that potion was constructed in sub-Saharan Africa centuries before a attainment of Europeans, a anticipating that a researchers pronounced represents a “new section in a story of potion technology.”

The find is discussed in “Chemical Analysis of Glass Beads from Igbo Olokun, Ile-Ife (SW Nigeria): New Light on Raw Materials, Production and Interregional Interactions,” that will seem in an arriving volume of a Journal of Archaeological Science.

Photo of potion beads. Image credit: Abidemi Babatunde Babalola

Lead author Abidemi Babatunde Babalola, a new connoisseur of Rice with a Ph.D. in anthropology and a visiting associate during Harvard University, came opposite justification of early glassmaking during archaeological excavations during Igbo Olokun, located on a northern periphery of Ile-Ife in southwestern Nigeria. He recovered some-more than 12,000 potion beads and several kilograms of glass-working debris.

“This area has been famous as a glass-working seminar for some-more than a century,” Babalola said. “The glass-encrusted containers and beads that have been unclosed there were noticed for many years as justification that alien potion was remelted and reworked.”

However, 10 years ago this thought was challenged when analyses of potion beads attributed to Ile-Ife showed that some had a chemical combination really opposite from that of famous potion prolongation areas. Researchers lifted a probability of internal prolongation in Ife, nonetheless approach justification for glassmaking and a chronology was lacking.

“The Igbo Olokun excavations have supposing that evidence,” Babalola said.

The researchers’ investigate of 52 potion beads from a excavated assemblage suggested that nothing matched a chemical combination of any other famous glass-production area in a Old World, including Egypt, a eastern Mediterranean, a Middle East and Asia. Rather, a beads have a high-lime, high-alumina (HLHA) combination that reflects internal geology and tender materials, a researchers said. The excavations supposing justification that potion prolongation during Igbo Olokun dates to a 11th by 15th centuries A.D., good before a attainment of Europeans along a seashore of West Africa.

Babalola pronounced a participation of a HLHA potion during other critical early West African sites suggests that it was widely traded. He hopes a investigate will expel some-more light on a creation and growth of potion in early sub-Saharan Africa and how a informal dynamics in potion prolongation bond with a tellurian materialisation of potion invention and exchange. He also hopes his work will assistance researchers know a impact on a social, domestic and mercantile fabrics of a African societies.

Source: Rice University

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