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Univ. Paris-Saclay

Sujet de stage / Master 2 Internship

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Decolourisation and recycling of glass in Roman time: the case of Reims

Contact: OLLIER Nadege, , nadege.ollier@polytechnique.edu, +33 1 69 33 45 18
The aim is to better understand the recycling and production processes of Roman glass, in particular that of colourless glass in Reims where several groups have been identified. To do this we will use photoluminescence and EPR techniques. We will also seek to reproduce glass and test remelting parameters.
Possibility of continuation in PhD: Oui
Deadline for application:19/03/2023

Full description:
A major glass production centre is known in Reims with several glass workshops operating throughout the Roman period, but particularly in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The glass produced in the furnaces in Reims is divided into two compositional groups: glass obtained by mixing manganese-bleached glass, antimony-bleached glass and non-bleached glass, and colourless glass obtained from glass bleached by adding pure antimony. Two types of glass with high manganese contents (MnO > 1.5%) were also found. On the other hand, the rectangular furnaces would have produced glasses decoloured only with antimony (very slightly polluted with manganese). In summary, whether obtained by recycling or by adding oxides, the glasses produced in the late workshops of Reims are decoloured. Depending on the method used, they have a colourless appearance or slight tinted highlights. We hope to establish a method for identifying groups of glass that archaeologists can see in the field and in the laboratory, but which they are still unable to explain.

In collaboration with Aurore Louis of the INRAP, we will therefore try to establish groups of colourless glass by carrying out photoluminescence analyses. We will be particularly interested in the recycling of glass and its impact on colouring and chemical composition. We will carry out sodium glass synthesis and glass remelting at LSI (in collaboration with D. Hollis UK). We will seek to understand the impact of remelting cycles on iron and manganese redox and glass structure.

PL and EPR analyses will be carried out to assess the Fe3+/Mn2+ ratio and its impact on colouring. The objective is to propose a method to classify these Reims glasses into different groups and to better understand glass recycling at that time.
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