28 giugno 2012

Roman jewellery found in a Japan tomb. Interview with Tomomi Tamura (Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties).

Three glass beads discovered in the 5th century “Utsukushi” tumulus in Nagaoka (Kyoto) were probably made some time between the first and the fourth century by Roman craftsmen. Researchers from the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (Japan) they found that the yellow beads were made with Natron, a chemical used to melt glass by craftsmen in the Roman Empire.
The beads, which have a hole through the middle, were made with a multilayering sophisticated technique. We did a little interview with Tomomi Tamura - 田村 朋美 - from Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties.  
What have you found?
«We identified that the beads from the “Utsukushi” tumulus, excavated in 1988, were made from "Natron glass". They are the oldest multilayered glass products found in Japan, for the moment. The "Natron type glass", which is a feature of "Roman glass", is a kind of soda-lime glass with low MgO and K2O concentration (MgO, K2O < 1.5wt%). Our research revealed that the glass beads contained high concentration of Na2O (around 16-19wt%) and CaO (around 6wt%) and low concentration of MgO and K2O (<1.5wt%). The result indicates that these glass beads belong to "Natron type glass". We examined the chemical composition of these glass beads by X-ray fluorescence analyser, last year.»
How many beads were analyzed in your Institute?
«The beads were found with many other glass beads (more than 300 blue glass beads) in the coffin. So we think they were ringed in the thread of the necklace or something like that. But they were not worn to the human body. They were placed near the human's body. About 200 similar multilayed glass beads are found in Japan, but only 10-15 beads were analysed by now. But we want to research similar jewels found in Korean Peninsula and, of course, western countries.»
Are you planning further studies on this findings?
«We are planning to conduct chemical analysis of other multilayed glass beads excavated in Japan. About 200 similar multilayed glass beads are found in Japan, but only 10-15 beads were analysed by now. And we want to research similar jewels found in Korean Peninsula and, of course, western countries.»
Andrea Mameli www.linguaggiomacchina.it 27 June 2012
Picture: Nara National Institute for Cultural Properties, September 10, 2011 [Credit: AFP]

Nessun commento: