archaelogist, Schaffhausen, Switzerland
archaelogist, University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy – Archeology Collection
KASNOANTIČKO I RANOVIZANTIJSKO STAKLO SA GRADINE U POSTENJU
LATE ANTIQUE AND EARLY BYZANTINE GLASS FROM GRADINA IN POSTENJE
Journal 8/2012 (Museum of Applied Art), pages 7-22
Abstract (original language):
Na Gradini u Postenju, u okviru utvrđenog naselja je nađeno oko 260 ulomaka kasnoantičkog i ranovizantijskog stakla, od toga oko 100 posuda, a ostalo su delovi prozorskih okana i ukrasnih predmeta. Kod većeg broja fragmenata stakla vidljivi su mehurići, ponekad veoma gusti, a na površini je često sloj
Key words: (original language)
Gradina u Postenju, kasnoantičko i ranovizantijsko staklo (zdele, pehari, boce, lampe), okna, ukrasni predmeti
Late Antiquity and afterwards Early Byzantine fortress Gradina in the village of Postenje (fig. 1:1-3) was built on the northern slopes of Rogozina Mountain (c. 780 metres altitude) in South-West Serbia. Found within the fortress and surrounded by a wall were about thirty objects, the oldest dating from the 3rd century. The settlement was destroyed at the end of the 6th or the beginning of the 7th century. The majority of glass finds from Gradina in the village of Postenje, as well as other moveable archeological material, originate from the objects made during the 6th century, the time of Justinian's reconstruction of the fortress. Window pane fragments were found both in churches and in profane objects. Out of a total of about 100 fragments of glass vessels, the largest number is the parts of bowls and goblets from which is distinguished the many different types. The smaller number is the fragments of bottles and lamps. Although the highest number of glass fragments is found to belong to the period of the Emperor Justinian I, some vessels could have been in use even before the 6th century. Over a longer period of time, during Late Antiquity (4th – beginning of 5th century), up to and including the Early Byzantine period (6th century), hemispherical bowls with deeper receptacle (fig. 2:3-4), hemispherical beakers (fig. 3:1-4), conical goblets (fig. 3:5), stemmed goblets or lamps (fig. 3:6-8) and jugs (fig. 4:1-3) could have been used. All these vessels have similarities with the materials of this period, of the 4th / 5th century and the 6th century. While hemispherical bowls and beakers are most common during the 4th and early 5th century, some have been found on some sites of the 6th century. On the territory of Serbia, conical goblets are found in the 4th and the 4th / 5th century layer on all other sites except Gradina on Jelica where they were found in the 6th century layer. In contrast, although a larger number of stemmed goblets or lamps was found on Early Byzantine sites in the 5th / 6th and the 6th century layer, a smaller number dates from the 4th century. On all other sites, except Early Byzantine fortress Gradina on Jelica, hemispherical bowls with shallow receptacle (fig. 2:1-2) date from the 4th century. On the territory of Serbia, all conical receptacle lamps with hollow stem date exclusively from the 6th century, Caricin grad being the site where the highest number of lamps with hollow stem was found. Apart from hemispherical lamps with deeper receptacle, on sites in Serbia there are no examples of lamps with shallow receptacle as those found in Gradina in Postenje. However, judging by the similar examples from the Black Sea, they also could have been used in the settlement during the 6th century. Glass lamps have been found both in sacred and profane objects in Gradina in Postanje.
Judging by the high number of glass vessels in Gradina in Postanje that is present on a number of sites during the 4th century and the beginning of the 5th century, and in some of the 5th and the 6th century layers too, the continuity of life can be proven in Gradina in Postanje in the 5th century, though this horizon has not been established yet on this site in architectural pre–building and restoration of objects. The limited number of vessels of a simple type and of a relatively uniform glass colour in Gradina in Postanje indicates local production. Though it has not been proven yet in the settlement itself, local production could have existed, as in some settlements of Late Antiquty – Mitrovica / Sirmium, Gamzigrad / Romuliana – or as in some Early Byzantine settlements (In Caricin grad, for example, a group of bricks are in situ in a circular or semi-circular shape, which might have been a part of a furnace; furthermore, fragments of a massive dome-shaped vessel that might have been part of a retort were also found, which could serve as proof for the existence of glass making. In Gornji Streoci on Kosovo the raw materials for glass making were found).
Gradina in Postanje is one of a large number of hillside settlements that have been identified on the territory of Serbia, but glass is found on and published about only a few. Although a relatively small number of glass vessel types have been found in Gradina in Postanje, similar types have been found in other Late Antiquity and Early Byzantine sites in Serbia and neighbouring countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Greece), where an assortment of similar glass vessels were used.
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