We're now setting off on a unique voyage through the history of glass and glass making that started over 3500 years ago. In the case to your left, called The Origins of Glassmaking, you'll discover treasures from the first 1500 years of glassmaking in the ancient world. The second large case in this gallery is labeled Glass of the Romans and there you'll find something entirely new -- objects made by glass blowing. When the Romans discovered how to blow glass, they changed the course of glassmaking history. The third large case, Glass in the Islamic World, tells the story of glassmaking from Egypt through Syria and Iraq to Iran during The Middle Ages. By the time you've visited these first three areas of the gallery, you will have traveled through 3000 years of glassmaking. But let's begin at the beginning and ask the most basic question of all: What is glass? How is it made? To answer that, let's go take a look at the model of a brick furnace that was used in ancient Egypt.