Show true colours: Glass ornaments as mirrors of Celtic societies and identities

In the 5th century BC, the La Tène societies invented a new glass object of their own: the glass bracelet. This discrete technological innovation is in fact indicative of the development of a unique and typically La Tène glassmaking know-how that, remarkably, was not transferred beyond the borders of European La Tène culture: Neither the Greeks, nor the Romans, nor the Egyptians ever wore them. Around these colourful and shiny ornaments, glass craft developed intensively in Europe from the third century BC onwards, mobilising distant trade networks and specialised craftsmen. The combination of typological, technological and analytical approaches in the studies of the La Tène glass provided important new data for reconstructing the networks for the exchange of raw glass, glassmaking skills and the social significance of ornaments. Through the production processes of glass and ornaments, this conference questions the codes conveyed by these glass objects and proposes to examine their values, their social roles and the identity elements of their wearers.

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