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New Research Shows Rome's Finest Glass Was Actually Made in Egypt

Research from Denmark recently revealed that Alexandrian glass, one of Rome's most prized and luxurious forms of glass due to its transparency, has been proven to be sourced from Egypt.

ancient egypt alexandrian glass

Researchers have long debated exactly where ancient Rome’s prized, totally transparent glass was made, or at least that's what the Smithsonian said in a recent published piece. As have we Smithsonian, honestly it has kept us up at night most nights, tossing and turning in our bed calling out for answers in our sleep - it's so clear, so fab, where could it have possibly come from?

This type of glass was known as Alexandrian glass and was used for fancypants Romans who wanted to see the wine inside their chalices, however - for the longest time - the glass was never proven to be sourced from Egypt. Yes, it's called Alexandrian glass so you’d assume it comes from Alexandria, but you don't get your French fries from France, do you? Life isn’t that simple sometimes!

But our queries have finally been answered as Gry Hoffmann Barfod, a geoscientist at Denmark’s Aarhus University, and her colleagues analyzed 37 glass fragments found at an archaeological site in Jordan. The shards included enigmatic Alexandrian glass, manganese-processed glass, and glass made more recently in either Egypt or the Levant. The researchers reported that Alexandrian glass exhibits hafnium isotope (our favourite isotope obvs) ratios comparable to that of glass known to come from Egypt, seemingly settling the longstanding mystery.

We can ALL sleep a little better now with this knowledge, and let that be the last time anyone ever assumes Egyptians didn't invent everything.