Institute of Archaeology


Ana Franjic

Iron Age Glass Technology in South East Europe

Ana Franjic profile

Email: ana.franjic.11@ucl.ac.uk
Section: Archaeological Sciences



Iron Age Glass Technology in South East Europe

My thesis aims to provide a comprehensive scientific study of Iron Age glass technology in South East Europe. The thesis will examine glass beads and bracelets from present-day Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, mostly found as part of Iron Age female burial attire. Through qualitative and quantitative analysis, I will explore the patterns of production, trade, and use of glass items in the period.

The SEM-EDS, EPMA, and LA-ICP-MS analysis will focus on the possible difference in the raw materials, technological recipes, and craft traditions of distinct artefacts, in order to assess the variability in glass production and relationship between the various material culture groups in the Early (Hallstatt) and Late (La Tène) Iron Age of the area. By examining the technological behaviours, levels of craft specialisation, aesthetic preferences, and the scope of economic and social relations, the thesis hopes to contribute to our broader understanding of glass use in Iron Age Europe.

By looking at the beads' aesthetic and symbolic dimensions, the thesis will further expand into questions of materiality, gender, and status. Although commonly considered as merely decorative, the glass beads carry a more complex and significant cultural meaning. With similar types occurring repeatedly throughout the various groups inhabiting the region, I will also examine the role of these objects in the construction of the identities of Iron Age women, thereby improving our understanding of their role among the Iron Age elites, and their place in the social relationships and practices of prehistoric societies.




  • BA, Archaeology, University of Zagreb, 2004
  • MA, Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 2013

    A. Franjić and I.C. Freestone, "Glass Recycling". In: I. Miloglav, A. Kudelić, and J. Balen (eds.) Recycle; ideas from the past (Zagreb: Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, University of Zagreb, and Zagreb Institute of Archaeology, 2017)

    A. Franjić and I.C. Freestone, "Iapodean glass beads inside and out". In: L. Bakarić (ed.) Iapodes - the forgotten highlanders. (Zagreb: Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, 2017)

    A. Franjić, "La technologie et la société: les Iapodes sous le microscope". In: L. Bakarić (ed.) Iapodes, peuple méconnu. Collections du musée archéologique de Zagreb (Milano: Silvana Editoriale, 2014)

    I. Drnić and A. Franjić, "pXRF Analysis of South Pannonian Late Iron Age Silver Artefacts". In: S. Berecki (ed.) Iron Age Crafts and Craftsman in the Carpathian Basin (Târgu Mureş: Editura Mega, 2014)

    A. Franjić, 2014. Review of Transparent Beauty: Glass from Croatian Museums, from Prehistory to the Middle Ages by Lada Ratković Bukovčan and Zoran Gregl. Glass News 36: 14-5.

    Illustrations. In: I. Radman-Livaja, 2014. Tesserae Sisciensiae, Les plombs inscrits de Siscia / Olovne tesere iz Siscije. Zagreb: Musei Archaeologici Zagrebiensis Catalogi et Monographiae 9.

    Conference papers

    Analysis of Early Iron Age eye-beads from Lika, Croatia, ISA, Mérida, Mexico, 20-26 May 2018

    (with Anamarija Eterović Borzić and I. C. Freestone) Glass from the East, Glass from the West: Deciphering Glass Supply in Ancient Iader-A Pilot Study, Roman Glass Seminar, British Museum, London, 24-25 Nov 2017 (poster presentation)

    Which way the glass flows? The case of the Iron Age glass beads from Novo Mesto, Slovenia, Iron Age Research Student Symposium, Bradford, 31 May-3 June 2017

    Long Distance Trade in the Iron Age: Glass Beads from Novo Mesto, Slovenia, UKAS, London, 5-8 April 2017

    An Eye for an Eye Bead: Early Iron Age Glass from Lika, Croatia, EAA, Vilnius, 30 August-4 September 2016

    Prehistoric Glass from Ancient Segestica (Present-Day Croatia), EAA, Vilnius, 30 August-4 September 2016

    Early Iron Age Iapodean Headdress: The Social and Technological Context, ISA, Kalamata, 14-21 May 2016 (poster presentation)

    (with Asja Tonc) Costume as a Marker of Identity - different approaches, Seminar Series, Zagreb Institute of Archaeology, 12 April 2016

    (with Hrvoje Potrebica) Iron, Glass, and Graphite: Communication networks and cycles of prosperity on the border of the Hallstatt world, Craft and Production in the European Iron Age, University of Cambridge, 25-27 Sep 2015

    (with S. Karavanić, A. Kudelić, and M. Radivojević) Late Bronze Age Metal Artefacts from the River Drava: A technological perspective on the social practice of river offerings, EAA, Glasgow, 2-5 Sep 2015 (poster presentation)

    Spectrometry of Iapodean glass beads and headdresses, Methodology and Archaeometry Conference, Department of Archaeology, University of Zagreb, 4-5 Dec 2014