Dr. Stéphanie Boulogne, who received her Ph.D. in Islamic art and archaeology from the Université Paris Sorbonne (Paris IV), is a research fellow at the Laboratoire d’Archéologie Médiévale in Aix-en-Provence, France, and the Institut Français d’Archéologie du Proche-Orient (IFPO) in Amman, Jordan. She built on her dissertation on glass bangles from Bilad al-Sham (a region encompassing Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon) by exploring trade between the Middle East and India through a study of the techniques, colors, and designs of 14th- to 17th-century glass.
“The study of [the multicolored] glass bangles excavated in Bilad al-Sham and attributed to medieval and later times . . . showed [that they came from many different places in] the Near East, Iraq, Iran, the Arabian Peninsula, India, Nepal, and sub-Saharan Africa,” she says. “In addition, the research on provenance of the glass bangles discovered at Khirbat Faris and Tell Abu Sarbut, sites located in central Jordan [published in this volume on pages 53–75], had revealed . . . the possibility of . . . local origin.”
Studies of glass in India are few, Dr. Boulogne noted, and her Rakow Research Grant was directed toward finding more information on glass from India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Southeast Asia. She planned to make an inventory of glass vessels found in the same archeological levels, and she was looking for samples with the same decorative patterns so that possible trade routes can be discerned. She also wanted to study Arabic sources that may shed light on these exchanges.
“This research will give us knowledge of the glass connection between East and West during medieval and later times,” she said. “What movement and transfer of knowledge [occurred] from India to the Near East? Can we [find] a wide spread of regional cultural practices to [other] countries?”
Most of this research was conducted at The Corning Museum of Glass and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
She is the author of several articles on glass bangles, and her book on bangles from Bilad al-Sham is to be published later this year.