PHYSICO-CHEMICAL EXAMINATION OF GLASS BEADS DISCOVERED AT A LUSATIAN CULTURE STRONGHOLD IN WICINA, LUBUSKIE VOIVODESHIP
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In the Wicina microregion many unfortified sites and cemeteries belonging to the Bialowice Group of the Lusatian Culture were discovered, but attention was focused on the stronghold settled in the Hallstatt C and D phases (7- 6th century BC), destroyed probably by invaders of Scythian origin. A huge quantity of different objects, including some 900 glass beads, was discovered there and physico-chemical examination of 284 beads and melted lumps is presented. The glass objects were discovered mostly in cultural levels; glass-bead necklaces with the skeletons of victims, and in a treasure. Most of the beads were of various shades of blue, some displaying a white wavy ornament. Greenish beads of transparent glass constituted the next largest group, while the remaining objects were: black, yellow, white, reddish-brown. Under the microscope the sampled glass was unclear, containing many bubbles. The batch appeared not fully fused, the glass containing unmelted sand grains. Obviously, the fusion temperature could not have been high. Glass density was determined hydrostatically. Softening temperature was between 500 and 600 cents, shrinking temperature between 600 and 740 cents and melting temperature between 860 and 900 cents. Powder X-ray studies revealed the presence of unreacted calcium carbonate in some of the samples. Glass composition was determined both qualitatively and quantitatively. Flame photometry was also used to determine the Na, K and Ca content. The results are presented as percentages of respective oxides in the examined samples. Relevant distribution of the most important oxides (after averaging results from different analyses) are presented in histograms. It was concluded that the glass used to produce some of the beads had been melted using plant ash, while for others the glass used had been manufactured with soda. 26 Figures and 6 Tables.
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