Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Roman jewellery in Japan

No it is not about an exhi­bi­tion! This is one of the most inter­est­ing instances of cross his­to­ry, actu­al cul­tur­al con­tacts between Japan and the Roman empire! Glass jew­ellery have been dis­cov­ered at the Utsukushi bur­ial mound in Nagao­ka, Kyoto pre­fec­ture. The jew­ellery date from the first to the fourth cen­turies AD, that is the peak of the Roman empire. 

Exten­sive analy­sis took place of the com­po­nents of 5 mm glass beads and the frag­ments of gilt attached to them. Accord­ing to the results, the beads were made of natron, a chem­i­cal used by Roman crafts­men in order to melt glass. The same jew­ellery indi­cate that the crafts­men fol­lowed anoth­er inter­est­ing Roman tech­nique: they made them with lay­ers of glass, in between which they put a gold­en leaf.