Preface. Marie-Dominique Nenna
I have great pleasure in presenting you with the Annales of the l8th congress of the Association Internationale pour l’Histoire du Verre, and I wish to thank all those who have ensured that this publication appears with the least delay: principally the authors, the academic committee, and especially the academic editors of the volume, Despina Ignatiadou, vice-president, and member of the board of the AIHV for the years 2006-2012 and Anastassios Antonaras.
The 18th congress of the AIHV was held in Thessaloniki from September 21st-25th, 2009. It was dedicated to Clasina Isings, who came, via a video, to offer us her best wishes. Here we have to warmly thank the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki which has organized the whole manifestation, and the Museum of Byzantine Culture, which has hosted our sessions in the brand new auditorium of the Museum, used for the first time for our congress. All our warm thanks also to The Friends of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki who supported the organization of the congress among the others with the nice bag decorated with bird-balsamaria, and The Prefecture of Thessaloniki, who has hosted us at the end of the congress. Last, but not the least, from the bottom of our heart, our thanks go to Despina Ignatiadou, Anastassios Antonaras and the Organizing committee for their hard work in organizing this congress and for offering us the opportunity to meet once again to share our discoveries and our thoughts on this wonderful material, glass, to which we are all dedicated.
During the 33 parallel sessions, 95 oral communications and 55 posters were presented, displaying the vitality of research on the history of glass in the scientific world. Thanks to the energies of the Greek Committee, after a first glance at Thessaloniki at the beginning of our congress, thematic visits were organised to discover the different aspects of Thessaloniki. Hellenistic and Roman city, Byzantine city, Ottoman city with its important Jewish community, contemporary city. In the post-congress trips, the participants were able to visit the heart of Macedonia, with the cities of Vergina and Dion, and the Pikrolimni Lake, producing natron in Antiquity and still today, the ancient cities of Amphipolis and Philippi, or to make a cruise around Mount Athos.
This volume brings together 84 contributions, which cover a vast chronological span from the second millennium BC up to the present day, touching on all aspects of the history of glass with a good networking between archaeology, history of art and archaeometry. An important part is devoted to the beginnings of the history of glass in the second millennium and the beginning of the first millennium BC, and the developments in the Hellenistic world with papers covering the Near East, Egypt and Sudan, Greece and Turkey. The Roman and Byzantine worlds are approached from two directions: the study of the production and consumption of vessels and ornaments and the expanding study on the glass in mosaic pavements and walls. The papers on the Islamic world build on the start made at the 15th congress and show the vitality of research in this area. The presentation of discoveries and research coming from the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Italy, Kosovo, Montenegro, Portugal, Poland, Romania and Serbia, fuels the debates about glass during the medieval and post-medieval period in Europe. The 18th and 19th centuries are not ignored, with papers dealing with glass in roofs, glass flowers and mosaic glass and there are also studies dealing with African and Asian glass.
During the General Assembly the board of the AIHV changed. Jan Egbert Kuipers (Treasurer) and Ian Freestone, to whom we extend all thanks for their work, submitted their resignations. The newly elected members were Irena Lazar, organizer of the 19th Congress in 2012, as Vice President, and Huib Tijssens, as Treasurer. Already present in the board, Despina Ignatiadou was elected member, were re-elected Jane Spillman as General Secretary, David Whitehouse as member, and I as President. The executive committee which assembled six elected members as well as the presidents of the national Associations or Committees, was partly renewed, with the election of Fatma Marii and Yoko Shindo; Sylvia Fünfschilling, Lisa Pilosi, Marianne Stern et Maria Grazia Diani were re-elected. We mourned during the congress the recent death of two long time members, Sarah Jennings from England and Claudia Maccabruni from Italy.
The preparations for the 19th congress are progressing under the guidance of Irena Lazar. The congress will be held at Piran (Slovenia) from September 17th to September 21st 2012 (www.aihv.org, www.zrs.upr.si). After the wider opening towards eastern Mediterranean members effectuated during the Thessaloniki Congress, we will receive in Piran more information and members coming from Central Europe.