Presented through 20 case studies covering Europe and the Near East, Neighbours and Successors of Rome investigates development in the production of glass and the mechanisms of the wider glass economy as part of a wider material culture in Europe and the Near East around the later first millennium AD. Though highlighting and solidifying chronology, patterns of distribution, and typology, the primary aims of the collection are to present a new methodology that emphasises regional workshops, scientific data, and the wider trade culture.
This methodology embraces a shift in conceptual approach to the study of glass by explaining typological change through the existence of a thriving supra-national commercial network that responded to market demands and combines the results of a range of new scientific techniques into a framework that stresses co-dependence and similarities between the various sites considered. Such an approach, particularly within Byzantine and Early Islamic glass production, is a pioneering concept that contextualises individual sites within the wider region.
By twinning a critique of archaeometric methods with the latest archaeological research, the contributors present a foundation for glass research, seen through the lens of consumption demands and geographical necessity, that analyses production centres and traditional typological knowledge. In so doing the they bridge an important divide by demonstrating the co-habitability of diverse approaches and disciplines, linking, for example, the production of Campanulate bowls from Gallaecia with the burgeoning international late antique style. Equally, the particular details of those pieces allow us to identify a regional style as well as local production. As such this compilation provides a highly valuable resource for archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians.