Institute of Archaeology


Video: Everything Old is New Again

01 August 2024–13 September 2024, 9:00 am–5:00 pm

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Watch Victoria Lucas' seminar on 'Early medieval glass recycling: technology, change, and resourcefulness.'

This event is free.

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Archaeological Sciences Section

Dr Victoria Lucas is a Technician in Archaeomaterials Preparation and Analysis at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Her presentationwas given as part of the UCL Institute of Archaeology Autumn Seminar Series 2023.


In the last decade, recycling has become a ubiquitous presence in papers published on the chemical analyses of glass of the first millennium CE. It is becoming increasingly clear that recycling to greater or lesser degrees played a key role in the production of glass objects, and was a firmly embedded part of glassworkers' practice. 

However, there has been a tendency to approach recycling as a monolithic practice, with many papers simply noting evidence for recycling without any great consideration of the complexity or nuance of the specific human actions and decisions that led to the chemical signatures we lump together as "recycling", nor the specific social and economic contexts in which such recycling practices were taking place.

The early medieval period offers an excellent opportunity to attempt to untangle some of this complexity, as analyses have indicated a glassworking system that was heavily reliant on recycled material.

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Watch more from the series: https://tinyurl.com/2023-seminars