This book is based largely on the Archaeometry of Glass sessions of the 1984 International Symposium on Glass, held in connection with the Annual Meeting of the International Commission on Glass in Beijing. The symposium was presented under the auspices of the Chinese Silicate Society, and supported by The Chinese Association for Science and Technology, The China State Administration of Building Materials Industry, The Academia Sinica, and The China Ministry of Light Industry. Eleven papers were presented.
From its apparent beginnings in the Warring States Period (5th-3rd centuries B.C.), and throughout antiquity, glass was never made in China in the same great quantities as it was in the Western world. However, that early Chinese glass which has been recovered is often associated with interesting archaeological problems and raises some truly intriguing questions in the history of technology. Chinese glass is at once a study of an art and technology within itself and a reflection of contacts with civilizations outside China.
The research presented here is of very special importance to Western scholars who have an interest either in glass or in things Chinese. Until the 1984 Symposium, the literature on Chinese glass available in Western languages consisted almost exclusively of the thinking of Western scholars. Only now do glass historians and historians of technology outside China have an opportunity to know just how the Chinese themselves view their own glass history.