Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Medieval monastery in Hungary was a glass-making hub, researchers find

Central European University Professor of Medieval Studies Jozsef Laszlovszky and his students have been hanging out in the 12th century. They haven't gone back in time, just up the Danube to the site of a medieval monastic estate in Pomaz that housed a glass-production center. Part of the site was poorly excavated in the 1930s and skeptics weren't sure that it was once a bustling manufacturing hub but Laszlovszky, who is also an archeologist, and his team have been studying the very real evidence. From bricks that bear the scars of very high kiln temperatures to broken pieces of glass, it's now clear that the site, which includes a church and a cemetery, was a specialized center.

“We got into archeological layers full of typical materials – for example, fragments of melting pots with melted glass and even complete glass object which were most likely the finished products,” said Laszlovsky. “Interestingly, they probably used recycled glass for the products. We think that's a 21st century thing, but it's not.”

For decades the excavation site – about 20 kilometers from Budapest – was owned by a state company and was off limits to the general public. Laszlovszky was brought in by the local council to do an archeological survey to asses the site. Now owned by a private investor with a keen interest in preservation, the site will eventually be open to the public.

Click here to read this article from Central European University