|Me working with the LA-ICP- MS instrument |
at BGS Keyworth.
Before moving to the UK, my main academic background was focused on the archaeological aspect of glass, hence mainly typology (the study and comparison of artefacts shape and decoration). I then discovered a whole different approach to the subject: I have learned that through chemical analysis it is possible not only to understand what raw materials have been used to make the glass, but also to assess where they were made. The technological aspect of glass-making fascinates me and at that point I decided to move to the UK to get an MSc in Archaeological materials at the University of Nottingham, and then go onto study for a PhD.
My current PhD project involves the study of three different glass datasets dated between the late 6th and the 11th century AD: Comacchio (Northern Italy), Barking Abbey (Southern England), and Ribe (Denmark). I started to collaborate with Dr Simon Chenery (BGS) in July 2016, when I analysed my first batch of samples with LA-ICP-MS: this technique which measures the concentration of trace elements in the glass samples is still scarcely applied to glass studies, even though has showed much potential. In fact, most of the published studies still rely only on significant elements (EMPA) to assess the compositional nature of ancient glasses, although trace elements data can give a better complete knowledge of the nature of the recipe itself. My first aim was to use LA-ICP-MS not only as a mean to characterise further each chemical composition of glass, but also to understand mixing and recycling practices in glass manufacture by measuring the concentration of specific “recycling markers” (Sb, Sn, Co, Cu): understanding when glass has undergone through repetitive recycling cycles and when its original composition has been mixed with other recipes is crucial to understand the degree of manufacture processes occurring in any workshop.
|Glass fragments from Comacchio and Barking Abbey. From sx to dx: glass vessel with yellow band decoration; mosaic|
tesserae; fragment of a glass lamp; soapstone crucible with a layer of green and red opaque glass.
|Looking at Barking Abbey glass through the microscope.|
(NB Camilla successfully defended her PhD on 13th July)
For more information then you can contact Camilla here or follow here on Twitter