Close this search box.

Glass Production in the Ancient World

Art & Culture

Glass Production in the Ancient World is a fascinating subject and in this post we would explore it for a bit. Glassmaking originated around 2500 BCE, in Mesopotamia. And by the mid-first millennium BCE., it had spread throughout the ancient world. The number of vessels made from glass remained limited. However, until the introduction of two important technical advances. First, the use of the blowpipe and secondly closed multipart molds—in the late first century BCE; And the early first-century CE., respectively. These advances revolutionized the glass industry under the Roman Empire; making glass vessels accessible to all and allowing producers to create a wide range of shapes, sizes, and usages. Some of the earliest vessels made by mold blowing bear the names of the craftsmen who “signed” the molds.

Glass Production in the Ancient World: Ennion – Master of Roman Glass

Ennion probably lived and worked in the city of Sidon, in Roman Phoenicia and today’s Lebanon. Although his name was Semitic in origin, he signed his work in Greek, the lingua franca of the eastern Mediterranean in his time. He is thought to have been a Phoenician, and some scholars believe that later in life, with growing fame and demand, he moved to the north Italian city of Aquileia, closer to Rome and its markets.

Ennion was among the most prominent glassworkers of Ancient Rome, active from about 1 to 50 CE. He is famous for being the first known maker of decorated mold-blown glass and for the exquisite quality of his work. Ennion branded his work by signing them. Glassware—primarily jugs and cups—signed by Ennion was traded throughout the Mediterranean and found during archaeological excavations at sites from Israel to Spain.

Nahman Avigad, during his excavations in the Jewish Quarter, found a glass vase with Ennion’s signature. Also, Avigad discovered refuse (waste) from a glassmaking workshop. The refuse, consisting of lumps of glass, unfinished vessels, and glass rods and tubes, had been dumped into a Jewish ritual bath that was paved over during the reign of Herod.

Terra Sancta Museum
Terra Sancta Museum

This is the earliest archaeological evidence of blown glass found anywhere. This discovery indicates that Jerusalem was a center of glass production, which is surprising because we would not expect this industrial activity in an urban center.

So I hope you enjoyed my post about glass Production in the Ancient World. You can read more about related subjects in my Blog.


Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Simon Peter


Visiting the Holocaust Museum

Visiting the Holocaust Museum invites a new experience. Due to its unique design, visitors are not the same after touring Yad Vashem.

Modern Art Gallery

The Israel Museum there offers an exceptional modern art gallery! Visitors can journey through the creative expressions of modern times!

Ben Zion David Yemenite Art

Ben Zion David Yemenite Art is renowned worldwide! His art is one of the few that preserve the traditional Yemenite goldsmithing method.

Best Museums in the Galilee

What are the best museums in Galilee? Recently I've visited a couple. So perhaps writing a post about them would be a good idea.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

First, it’s worth saying that the Tel Aviv Museum of Art is the largest and leading art institution in Israel. Founded in 1932 by Tel ...

Israel Museum

The Israel Museum is one of the world’s leading art and archaeology museums and Israel’s foremost cultural institution. Founded in 1965, the museum houses an ...

Jerusalem Concerts and Venues

In this post, we'll explore some of the top Jerusalem's concert venues and musical experiences in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem Festival of Light

The Jerusalem Festival of Light is an annual cultural event in the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel. The old city is entirely illuminated!

Ein Harod Museum of Art

Ein Harod Museum of Art is my go-to museum in the Jezreel Valley. The Museum addresses marginalized aspects of Israeli art.

Best Museums in Jerusalem

Visiting the city of Jerusalem gives the opportunity to see some of the most fascinating museums; not only in the country but in the world!

Need help?

Skip to content