Gold glass tesserae said to be from the Roman villa site at Southwick, West Sussex

James, Liz, Leigh, G J and Schibille, Nadine (2013) Gold glass tesserae said to be from the Roman villa site at Southwick, West Sussex. The Antiquaries Journal, 93. pp. 93-107. ISSN 1758-5309

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This paper seeks to characterise through elemental analysis some unusual gold glass tesserae said to have been found at a Roman villa site in Southwick, West Sussex. The site is no longer accessible, being underneath a Methodist chapel, but it has been excavated, to some extent, on several occasions. Glass tesserae are not common in a British setting but they are by no means unusual in Roman mosaics. Gold glass tesserae, however, in which gold leaf is sandwiched between two layers of glass, are very unusual: fewer than twenty such tesserae are known from Roman Britain and the seven examples from Southwick make up the largest single group. However, the provenance of these Southwick tesserae remains doubtful and so they were analysed and compared to gold glass tesserae from Roman London to try and establish whether they are compositionally related to typical Roman glass. For comparative reasons, the handful of coloured glass tesserae from Southwick were also analysed. Our results suggest that the tesserae said to be from Southwick are anomalous in relation to the other material and cannot be assigned to the Roman period.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
Subjects: N Fine Arts
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts > NK1160 Decoration and ornament. Design
N Fine Arts > NK Decorative arts > NK3600 Other arts and art industries > NK5100 Glass
Depositing User: Fiona Allan
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2016 11:34
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2016 11:34
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