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Ref ID: 36749
Ref Type: Book Section in a Series
Authors: Hein, Don
Ramsay, W. Ross H.
Title: The kilns of Myinkaba - for pottery or glass?
Date: 2020
Source: EurASEAA14: papers from the Fourteenth International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeologists. Volume 2: material culture and heritage
Place of Publication: Oxford
Publisher: Archaeopress
Abstract: Monochrome drawn glass beads have been found in numerous Southeast Asian archaeological contexts and represent bead production and trade over millennia. Given the ubiquity of finds, major industrial infrastructure must have existed to meet production demand, but hitherto no Southeast Asian site has revealed the required furnaces and infrastructure. Similar to ceramic kiln sites, material evidence of glass production can be expected to survive over time. Seven furnace constructions at Myinkaba, near Bagan, Myanmar (Burma), previously reported as ceramic kilns, have now been identified as glass furnaces for both the smelting of raw glass from local materials, and the manufacture of glass beads of the Indo-Pacific monochrome drawn type. Chemical analyses of the glasses and glazes demonstrate a continuum in composition from high-sodium low-lead types (17-22 wt% Na2O) through to high-lead variants (66 wt% PbO) lacking sodium. Output capacity appears to have been large enough to anticipate contribution to domestic and long-distance markets. This paper reports on the infrastructure and operation of the industry, and discusses the possibility that the furnaces of Myinkaba not only produced glass but may have made glazed fittings for use on Buddhist monuments dating from the tenth century CE.
Identifier: ISBN 9781789695946
Editors: Lewis, Helen
Volume: 2
Page Start: 22
Page End: 40
Series Editor: Lewis, Helen