Secondary glass productions in the early Middle Ages

January 26, 2023 - January 27, 2023

CNRS Orléans - Auditorium Charles Sadron
3 avenue de la Recherche Scientifique
45000 Orléans


If glass production from the Antiquity is quite well-known, the period after the fall of the western roman Empire is still a field to investigate.
In Western Europe, this period is even more important that it corresponds to the transition of the fluxing agent that will allow a complete reorganization of the production. That time also knew itinerant glassmakers travelling between abbeys and agglomerations who could contribute to the diffusion of new practices and recipes. Recently, several production sites have been discovered during excavations and research projects focused on that period, considering both archaeological aspects and the material compositions. Therefore, we would like to gather the scholars working on that topic in order to compare the sites of production, their tools and products on a large geographical scale.

Topics reached:

* Environments of the production:
- Inventories of workshops (means, tools, characteristics considered).
- Workshops in the landscape, in the agglomerations, monasteries or emporia.
- Locations of the workshops regarding the other crafts, the organization of the settlements, the different buildings.
- Location regarding the communication means and the resources.

*From the workshops:
- Structures, techniques and materials used by the glassmakers.
- What is produced and what is reused or recycled?
- Can we identify specific workshops for specific productions?
- Can we define a production from morphological, technical or chemical characteristics?
- Can we define products with specific social status (luxury products, Christian products, …) ?

* The artisans:
- What was the status of the artisans.
- Did different glass artisans exist? Were beads and tesserae "glass productions"?
- What can we learn about the glassmakers form their tools (experimental archaeology)?

* Imputs and output to and from other crafts
- Metals for tools or coloring process.
- Ceramic for crucibles and kilns.
- Common practices and materials between pyrotechnologies.


  • Dr Bernard GratuzeArcheomaterials Research Institute, Ernest-Babelon Center (IRAMAT-CEB) - CNRS / University of Orléans - FR
  • Dr Inès PactatArcheomaterials Research Institute, Ernest-Babelon Center (IRAMAT-CEB) - CNRS / University of Orléans - FR
  • Dr Gaspard PagèsArchaeology and Science of Antiquity (ArScAn), CNRS / University of Nanterre - FR
  • Dr Nadine SchibilleArcheomaterials Research Institute, Ernest-Babelon Center (IRAMAT-CEB) - CNRS / University of Orléans - FR
  • Dr Line Van WerschUniversity of Liège - BE & Archaeology and Science of Antiquity (ArScAn), CNRS / University of Nanterre - FR


Amphithéâtre Charles Sadron - Campus CNRS
Avenue de la recherche scientifique - 45000 Orléans - FR





  • 9:30       Bernard Gratuze - Official opening
  • 10:00     Nadine Schibille -  First millennium CE natron glass production groups and their markets: a compositional perspective
  • 10:30     Martin Zimmermann - The Role of Textual Evidences in the Study of Early Medieval Glassmakers
  • 11:00     Coffee break
  • 11:30     Aurore Louis - Can the vessel reflect the workshop? An attempt at typological mapping
  • 12:00     Caroline Jackson & Sarah Paynter - Glass supply and use in early Medieval Britain
  • 12:30     Søren Sindbæk - Bead workshops in eighth-century CE Ribe: technology, provenance, and chronology
  • 13:00     Lunch
  • 14:30     Andreas Kronz - Early Medieval glass from Cologne and its relation to glassfinds in the Rhineland and Central Europe
  • 15:00     Yvette Sablerolles & Julian Henderson - Glass working in the early medieval Netherlands
  • 15:30     Helena Wouters, Line Van Wersch, Chantal FontaineCatherine Peters, Sophie de Bernardy de Sigoyer, & Bernard Gratuze - The workshops from Huy, materials and tools, in their regional context
  • 16:00     Break
  • 16:30     Inès Pactat & Bernard Gratuze - Workshops from northern France
  • 17:00     Sylvie Balcon, Grégoire Chêne, David Strivay & Line Van Wersch - Early medieval glass in Burgundy. The Workshop of Mesvres and Autun 
  • 17:30     Visit of the lab and material seeing
  • 19:30     Diner


  • 08.30     Welcome
  • 09.00     Edith Peytremann, Isabelle Commandré, Bernard Gratuze & Francoise Labaune - L’atelier de production secondaire de la Ferrière « Le Plessis Bergerte (Vendée), fin Ve-milieu VIe siècle
  • 09.30     Inès Pactat, Céline Aunay & Gwenaël Roy - Blowing along the river: early medieval glass workshops in the Loire Valley (France)
  • 10.00     Camilla Bertini - Comacchio workshop and the Northern Italian glass production during the Early Medieval period
  • 10.30     Break
  • 11.00     Jorge De Juan Ares - Secondary and primary glass productions in Spain and Portugal in the early Middle Ages
  • 11.30     Mette Langbroek, Olivier Vrielynck & Alicia Van Ham-Meert - A view from the other side: bead production and exchange in 6th century Europe.
  • 12.00     Lunch
  • 13.00     Elisabetta Neri - Coloration of glass with metal
  • 13.30     Gaspard Pagès & Alexandre Disser - How did late Roman and early Medieval Glassmakers and Blacksmiths interact? A Review of some archaeological and archaeometric Evidences
  • 14.00     Chloé Gervaz & François Dubois - Glass in practice, workshops from a professional point of view
  • 14.30     Conclusion

Partners of the event