HomeGlass in Western Europe AD 700-1600

HomeGlass in Western Europe AD 700-1600

Glass in Western Europe AD 700-1600

Le verre du VIIIe au XVIe siècle en Europe occidentale

8th International Congress of the French Association for the Archaeology of Glass

8e colloque international de l'Association française pour l'archéologie du verre

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Published on Tuesday, December 01, 2015


Lors de ces rencontres, archéologues, historiens, archéomètres, conservateurs-restaurateurs, professionnels du verre et passionnés se réuniront autour d’un thème commun : le verre du VIIIe au XVIe siècle en Europe occidentale. Mise sur le devant de la scène dans les années 1980-1990, la période médiévale n’a pas suscité depuis lors de nouvel état de l’art dans le domaine de l’histoire et de l’archéologie du verre. La multiplication des opérations préventives et programmées sur des sites médiévaux, ainsi que le développement des méthodes de conservation, ont pourtant contribué à l’enrichissement et au renouvellement des sources archéologiques. Sans prétendre à l’exhaustivité, ce colloque propose toutefois de réaliser un état de la recherche en sollicitant des travaux inédits et des synthèses thématiques, chronologiques ou géographiques sur la production, la diffusion et les usages du matériau verre au Moyen Âge.



The 8th International Congress of the Association Française pour l’Archéologie du Verre (AFAV) will be held on 5-7 December 2016 in Besançon (France). Archaeologists, historians, archaeometrists, restorers, glass professionals and enthusiasts will gather around a common topic: “Glass from the eighth to the sixteenth century in Western Europe”.

The Middle Ages were highlighted since the very beginning of the association especially through the exhibition catalogue “À travers le verre, du Moyen Âge à la Renaissance” in 1989 and the conference proceedings Le verre de l’Antiquité tardive et du haut Moyen Âge in 1995. One must recognize that since then, no significant state-of-the-art overview has been published. An issue also noticeable at European level since the last relevant document is the exhibition catalogue “Phönix aus Sand und Asche. Glas des Mittelalters” published in 1988.

The increasing number of rescue and systematic excavations on medieval sites, along with the democratization of new conservation methods has allowed a considerable improvement and renewal of this thematic. However, as was stated above, the lack of comprehensive overviews is still greatly hindering local studies. Therefore, this congress intends to provide the opportunity to think about the significance of glass products in medieval societies. The eighth century is an especially significant period for Western Europe, where new political, economic and cultural systems are flourishing in every part of the area. In this respect, for example, we have to ask ourselves what was the influence of the Islamic world on glass consumption in the Iberian Peninsula and beyond? Furthermore, in the northern part of the continent, the remains of the Viking trade emporia allow us to consider long-distance trade of glass manufactured goods. From where did these luxurious objects, found in settlements and tombs of the Scandinavian elite, come? And what about the Antique legacy in the Frankish kingdom? Finally, a major transformation of glass manufacturing occurs at the end of the eighth century in Western Europe, a manufacturing process which was previously largely dependent on Near Eastern raw material imports. The use of plant ash for glass making necessarily had an impact on the location of workshops, but also on the way they were functioning and the management of raw materials resources. Should we speak of a breaking point in the glass manufacturing process, or should we consider a gradual evolution from one process to another? Is there one prominent model in the overall area, or is it possible to identify local disparities?

Beginning in the High Middle Ages, glass became increasingly important in various fields such as tableware, jewellery, architecture, lighting, optic and medicine. Does the only common denominator for the success of these objects is their shared plastic properties: malleability, transparency and colorability? Or should we also take into consideration its symbolic value, especially in liturgical and funerary contexts? The use, meaning and value of such uncovered artefacts are not always well defined. Those social and economic markers have necessarily changed over time or can be subject to regional dissimilarities. In this regard it seems relevant to raise the possibility that glass is indeed a social marker. And, as such, glass artefacts need to be brought back in their historical context, connected back to territorial entities and populations, in order to question the socio-economic status of consumers and production sites.

If complete thoroughness is out of reach, then this congress intends to achieve an updated state of research. For this purpose, original works and thematic overviews, whether chronological or geographical, are expected on the subject of production, distribution and uses of medieval glass in Western Europe. Overcoming academic and national boundaries is also one of the primary objectives. This exercise will certainly require not to reason in quantitative terms but rather in qualitative ones, especially for the earlier periods which are more dependent on discoveries and their state of conservation.

The 8th International AFAV Congress therefore wishes to highlight the progress in glass history but also to draw attention to the shortcomings of this thematic, in order to give guidelines for researches to come on a material which has already proved its relevance for a better understanding of medieval societies.

Submission guidelines

Submitted papers will be reviewed by a scientific committee. Interdisciplinary approaches based on exploitation of archaeological, historic and archaeometric sources, and collaborations between researchers, will be favoured. Oral and poster presentations can be submitted in English or French.

Submitted papers must include a form available on http://www.univ-fcomte.fr/afav2016/ and an abstract of 2500 characters max. They must be sent to afav2016@mshe.univ-fcomte.fr.

Deadline to submit: 31st March 2016

Organizing Committee

  • Claudine MUNIER (Service municipal d'archéologie préventive de Besançon, UMR 6249 - Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement)
  • Inès PACTAT (Université Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, USR 3124 - MSHE C. N. Ledoux)
  • Morana ČAUŠEVIĆ-BULLY (Université Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, UMR 6249 - Laboratoire Chrono-Environnement)

Scientific Committee

  • Erwin BAUMGARTNER - Suisse
  • Luc BOURGEOIS (UMR 6273 - Centre Michel de Boüard/CRAHAM) - France
  • Francesca DELL'ACQUA (Università degli studi di Salerno / University of Birmingham) - Italie
  • Chantal FONTAINE-HODIAMONT (Institut Royal du Patrimoine Artistique) - Belgique
  • Danièle FOY (UMR 6573 - Centre Camille Jullian) - France
  • Ian FREESTONE (Institue of Archaeology, University College London) - Royaume-Uni
  • Bernard GRATUZE (UMR 5060 - Centre Ernest-Babelon/IRAMAT) - France
  • Ingeborg KRUEGER - Allemagne
  • Teresa MEDICI (VICARTE, Universidade Nova de Lisboa) - Portugal
  • Christian SAPIN (Centre d'Etudes Médiévales d'Auxerre, UMR 6298 - ARTeHIS) - France
  • Hugh WILLMOTT (University of Sheffield) - Royaume-Uni


  • Kursaal - 2 place du Théâtre
    Besançon, France (25)


  • Thursday, March 31, 2016


  • verre, artisanat, vaisselle, luminaire, vitrail, vitre, parure, instrumentum

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Inès Pactat
    courriel : ines [dot] pactat [at] mshe [dot] univ-fcomte [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Glass in Western Europe AD 700-1600 », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, December 01, 2015, https://calenda.org/348862

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