A. J. Shortland

A. J. Shortland
Cranfield University · Cranfield Forensic Institute

MA, MSt, DPhil (Oxon)

About

119
Publications
43,524
Reads
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3,778
Citations
Additional affiliations
April 2005 - October 2014
Cranfield University
Position
  • Reader in Forensic Archaeomaterials
Description
  • Deputy Director, Cranfield Forensic Institute; Director, Forensic Modular Masters Programme
October 2000 - April 2005
University of Oxford
Position
  • University Research Lecturer

Publications

Publications (119)
Article
Full-text available
Chinese painted enamel is an artistic tradition of enamelled copperwares developed during the Kangxi period (1662–1722), commonly referred to as Canton enamel after the Wade-Giles spelling of Guangzhou. In this study, enamel fragments from areas of damage in the decorated surface of ten Chinese painted enamel objects dating to the 18th and early 19...
Article
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Cloisonné-style motifs are rare and enigmatic in Chinese painted enamels due to their distinct technological development at the end of the 18th century. Five late Qianlong to Jiaqing period (1736-1820) Chinese painted enamels with cloisonné-style motifs are investigated with ESEM-EDX (Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy-Energy Dispersive X-R...
Article
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Four polychrome glass fragments, excavated from tomb KV35 in the Valley of the Kings, attributed to Amenhotep II, were analysed to further investigate the composition and provenance of early Late Bronze Age glasses. An additional fragment, EA64163, cited by the British Museum as being stylistically analogous to the fragments from KV35, although wit...
Article
Glass was first produced in a regular way in the mid‐second millennium bce, where production appears to have begun in both Egypt and the Near East. How glass was invented is unclear, but it may have been derived from other pyrotechnologies, perhaps either metalworking (where the material is manipulated hot, like glass working) or faience making (wh...
Chapter
Full-text available
A materials science approach can illuminate our understanding of the life history of medieval stained glass windows; however, chemical analysis has been inhibited by their architectural context, preventing the removal of samples. Non-invasive techniques that can be used in situ, such as handheld/portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF), are...
Article
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This paper describes a multi-center collaborative project involving curators, conservators, scientists and artists to investigate the Chinese ceramics known as numbered Jun Ware. This rare group of high-quality stoneware, which probably originates from the early fifteenth century, consists of flower pots and matching basins. They are most often dec...
Article
Lead-barium glass appeared during the late Warring States period in China (457 - 221 BCE) and was considered as a Chinese invention due to the unique presence of high barium. There is no indication as to how it was made. A set of twenty-four different combinations of possible raw materials were melted to test and systematically evaluate the possibl...
Article
The descriptive data pertaining to the remaining, largely intact, glass vessels produced in ancient Egypt between the reigns of Thutmosis IV (1401-1391 BC) and Pinudjem II (959-945 BC) contained in ‘Die Glasgefäße im Alten Ägypten’ [The Glass Vessels in Ancient Egypt], was extracted and standardised to create a dataset that could be analysed to det...
Article
Garnet-inlaid metalwork was an emblem of elite culture in the early medieval North Sea world. This study compares three Anglo-Saxon garnet-inlaid brooches that are exceptionally similar in design and appearance. All three date to the seventh century, a period that saw the emergence of leading families that used such deluxe dress items to enhance th...
Article
Antimony (Sb) is considered a rare material in the archaeological record, found only in unusual circumstances. Nevertheless, antimony minerals were an important resource for several millennia, used in metallurgy and to opacify or decolour glass and glazes. In this way, Sb spread throughout the known world from the Chalcolithic onward. In glassmakin...
Article
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The market for paintings by well-known artists is booming despite widespread concern about art crime and difficulties in establishing provenance. Public law enforcement is imperfect, and court cases often are deemed problematic. So how is the thriving art market governed in practice? We analyze the protocols used by the top auction houses to identi...
Article
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Fourteen glass objects recovered from excavations at the ancient city of Tall Zirā‛a, Jordan, were analysed using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA‐ICP‐MS) to determine the period and origin of manufacture. The composition of glasses manufactured in the Late Bronze Age (LBA) and Iron Age are distinctly different, there...
Article
This research presents non‐destructive analyses of Chinese enamelled copper and porcelain decorated with polychrome enamels. This study utilises two key, high‐value art works with complex enamelling in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) to elucidate the composition and technology of objects with ruby‐backed decoration. Th...
Article
Full-text available
Sb was frequently used as a raw material, both in ancient glass-making (as an opacifier and decolouriser) and metallurgy (either as an alloying element or as a pure metal). Despite this ubiquity, antimony production has only occasionally been studied and questions concerning its provenance are still not satisfactorily answered. This study evaluates...
Article
Substantial databases of elemental and isotopic analyses of ancient glass exist and are used to investigate raw material origin, trade, exchange and processes such as mixing and recycling. However, the chemistry of archaeological glass may be challenging for the untrained eye. This paper provides structured information on the origin of chemical ele...
Article
In 2014 the Ashmolean Museum conserved and examined one of the largest and most handsome ceramic vessels in its renowned Islamic art collection. An accomplished example of early thirteenth-century Persian lusterware from the bequest of Sir Alan Barlow, the salver had an unusually deformed profile and uneven wear that pointed at a number of past int...
Article
Laser ablation‐inductively coupled plasma‐mass spectrometry (LA‐ICP‐MS) analysis was undertaken on 37 blue glass beads excavated from a tomb in the southern Faiyum region of northern Egypt. The tomb was undisturbed, contained the remains of seven females and two children, and dated between the reigns of Amenhotep I (1525–1504 bce) and Tuthmosis III...
Article
Laser ablation‐inductively coupled plasma‐mass spectrometry (LA‐ICP‐MS) analysis was undertaken on 37 blue glass beads excavated from a tomb in the southern Faiyum region of northern Egypt. The tomb was undisturbed, contained the remains of seven females and two children, and dated between the reigns of Amenhotep I (1525–1504 bce) and Tuthmosis III...
Article
In large parts of the Mediterranean recipes for the earliest man-made glass changed from melting mixtures of crushed quartz pebbles and halophytic plant ashes in the Late Bronze Age to the use of quartz sands and mineral soda during the Early Iron Age. Not much is known about this transition and the experimental materials which would inevitably hav...
Article
Ceramics are the most abundant surviving material on many archaeological sites. Once discarded, they offer the archaeologist the possibility to reconstruct the shape of vessels and to identify their origin. Typo‐chronologies of ceramic vessels are studied on virtually every excavation worldwide as the prime stratigraphic dating tool. Ceramics funct...
Conference Paper
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Article
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This paper re-analyses a considerable corpus of glass from the Late Bronze Age site of Nuzi, found near Kirkuk in Iraq. SEM–WDS and Sr and Nd isotopic analysis were applied, in addition to cataloguing the glass. The work showed that the glass technology at Nuzi was subtly different from contemporary Egyptian sites, using different ways of opacifyin...
Article
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It is shown that energy-dispersive X-ray diffraction (EDXRD) implemented in a back-reflection geometry is extremely insensitive to sample morphology and positioning even in a high-resolution configuration. This technique allows high-quality X-ray diffraction analysis of samples that have not been prepared and is therefore completely non-destructive...
Article
The blue pigments on 112 fragments or small objects of Qing Dynasty Chinese, 95 of underglaze blue and white and 17 overglaze enamelled porcelains were analysed by LA-ICPMS. The underglaze blues on both blue and white and polychrome objects were created with a cobalt pigment that was rich in manganese with lesser nickel and zinc. This suite of acce...
Article
The practice of re-melting glass was well known, certainly from the Roman period onwards. This can be seen not only in ancient literary evidence but also in the archaeological evidence, collections of broken glass have been found in, for example, Pompeii (79 AD) and the Iulia Felix shipwreck (Third century AD). Elevated levels of certain transition...
Article
The Nabataeans, who founded the city of Petra (southern Jordan) in the late first millennium BCE, are noted for the production of a distinctive very fine pottery with painted decoration and a wall thickness sometimes as little as 1.5 mm; this pottery appears largely locally made and not widely circulated. Using a combination of OM, SEM with attache...
Article
Papyri 10012A and 10012B from Illahun, Egypt, provide the earliest astro-chronological datum in history and, while calculated to various years in the 19th century BCE, have never been independently verified. As this datum enables the Middle Kingdom (MK) section of Egyptian historical chronology to be anchored in absolute time, it establishes the pr...
Article
A grisaille is a brown-blackish paint applied onto the inner surface of stained glass to draw the contours and details of the figures and to produce the effect of shades and volumes. Grisailles were traditionally made of finely ground oxides of iron but also of copper, zinc, lead, or manganese mixed with a flux such as lead ground glass and a binde...
Book
Egyptology has been dominated by the large quantity of written and pictorial material available. This amazing archaeology has opened up a wonderful view of the ancient Egyptian world. The importance of hieroglyphics and texts, and their interpretation, has led to other areas of archaeology playing much less prominence in the study of Egypt. Perhaps...
Chapter
Glass has been circulated widely in the Mediterranean throughout its late prehistory and history. The current chapter reviews the evidence on the technology and geographical distribution of glassmaking in prehistoric Mediterranean, aiming to shed new light on the question of local production of glass from raw materials in Late Bronze Age Greece.
Article
Previous research has shown that Iznik glazes are characterized by low potash and magnesia contents. It was therefore suggested that the flux used was either a purified plant ash or some unidentified mineral source of soda. More recently, as a result of the detection of small, but significant, amounts of boron and lithium in Byzantine glasses from...
Article
A chance discovery beneath Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford has brought to light some very well-preserved 17th century van Linge enamel-painted glass fragments. Deterioration was in most cases minimal and largely limited itself to the blue areas of the fragments. Here, cracking in both the enamel and the glass surface beneath it was observed, which...
Article
Boron is a trace element present in natron glass, which largely enters the glass via the flux. Therefore, the B isotope ratio is targeted as a means of provenancing this flux. In this work, 33 Greco-Roman natron glasses and 16 natron samples were analysed for their B isotopic composition (expressed as δ11B). All glasses, except one of mixed flux or...
Article
The Naqada relative chronology provides the main cultural framework for the Predynastic period of ancient Egypt. It was devised in the late nineteenth century by Flinders Petrie to improve understanding of the prehistoric origins of the Egyptian state. Petrie's approach became widely known and formed the basis for the development of seriation. In t...
Article
Full-text available
Variations in the isotopic composition of Cu and Sb as determined using multi-collector ICP-mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) have been investigated as a proxy for provenancing ancient glass. Cu and Sb were added during the manufacturing of ancient (pre-Roman and Roman) glass to obtain colour and opacity. In previous work, the analytical methodology for...
Article
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Archaeology is an interdisciplinary science par excellence. In its quest to reconstruct human behavior in the natural and cultural environment of the past, archaeology uses knowledge and techniques from many different academic disciplines. Indeed, there are very few sciences that have no relevance to archaeology. The concept of “holistic archaeolog...
Article
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The Egyptian state was formed prior to the existence of verifiable historical records. Conventional dates for its formation are based on the relative ordering of artefacts. This approach is no longer considered sufficient for cogent historical analysis. Here, we produce an absolute chronology for Early Egypt by combining radiocarbon and archaeologi...
Article
Based on promising results obtained in earlier work on antimony ores, we have investigated the use of natural variation in the isotopic composition of Sb as determined using multi-collector ICP-mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) for provenancing Roman glasses. In antiquity, Sb was used either as a decolourizer or as an opacifier and thus, colourless and...
Article
Full-text available
A multidisciplinary study of a unique group of Late Bronze Age (LBA) ceremonial glass axe heads and other artefacts shows that these are the first significant group of glasses coloured with cobalt to be identified from the Near East. The axes were excavated from the site of Nippur, in present-day Iraq. Several are incised with the names of three ki...
Article
Egypt has some of the oldest written records and extended lists of named rulers. But radiocarbon dates have only fulfilled expectations 66 per cent of the time. So why haven't the two types of dating made a better match? The authors provide a dozen excellent reasons, which will sound the alarm among researchers well beyond Dynastic Egypt.
Article
Technical and chronological aspects of overglaze enamel production at historic porcelain factories in central Europe are discussed based on studies of over 180 objects at various laboratories. Results of analyses on representative objects, carried out primarily with X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy, are presented. Examples of eighteenth- and ninetee...
Article
We present stable isotopic analyses of collagen from 80 servicemen excavated from the late 18th/early 19th century naval hospitals at Plymouth (50) and Haslar, Gosport (30) in southern England. Historical records suggest that, the diets of these two populations should be essentially identical. While δ(15) N of the rib collagen confirmed that naval...
Article
Ochres have played an important role in early human societies, and recent studies have shown that these pigments are important tools in establishing trade routes between countries as particular varieties of the material were sought for use by these ancient groups. This paper explores the provenancing of the ancient ochres used during the Neolithic...
Article
Full-text available
Handheld x-ray fluorescence spectrometry (HH-XRF) was successfully used to distinguish panes of 17th century, high lime, low alkali (HLLA) glass from later restoration pieces within an in situ window in Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. In addition the non-destructive analysis was able to differentiate between the work of two 17th century artists wi...
Article
In order to investigate the nature and organization of high‐status ceramic production in the Late Bronze Age, samples of Nuzi Ware from four different sites were analysed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM–EDS) and inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP–AES). Chemical and mineralogical evidence suggests that Nuzi Ware was...
Article
Class 13 and 14 Iron Age Scottish glass beads are a group of highly decorated beads of British origin or design, dating indicatively to the 1st and 2nd century AD and typically found in Aberdeenshire and Moray district (Guido, 1978, 85–9). Their distinctive stylistic characteristics and geographical segregation renders them ideal for the investigat...
Article
Analytical investigations of fragmented Meissen porcelains well dated to between 1725 and 1763 have been carried out using SEM–EDS. The aim of the analysis was to characterize elements in bodies, glazes and overglaze enamels in order to create a baseline data set of materials used in the manufacture of porcelain at the Meissen factory, Saxony, duri...
Article
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In September 2006, a new field survey of Lake Fazda in Wadi Natrun (Egypt) was undertaken to characterize the extant evaporitic deposits and reconstruct how this natural system was exploited in Egyptian and Roman times, especially in connection with glass production. It was found that the minerals currently precipitating in the lake are not immedia...
Article
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The most extensive chronometric study ever undertaken on Egyptian Dynastic sites was published in Radiocarbon by Bonani et al. (2001). It comprised 269 radiocarbon measurements on monuments ranging from the 1st-12th dynasties. However, many of the calibrated dates obtained were significantly offset from historical estimates. The greatest discrepanc...
Article
Strontium isotopic analysis has been proposed as a suitable method to determine the primary production location of ancient plant ash glasses. The technique is based upon the assumption that Sr enters this glass type with the plant ash used as a flux material, and that the 87Sr/86Sr ratio of the resulting glass reflects the geological provenance of...
Article
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The historical chronologies for dynastic Egypt are based on reign lengths inferred from written and archaeological evidence. These floating chronologies are linked to the absolute calendar by a few ancient astronomical observations, which remain a source of debate. We used 211 radiocarbon measurements made on samples from short-lived plants, togeth...
Article
Some radiocarbon dates for ancient Egypt have been significantly offset from the established historical chronology (see Bonani et al., 2001). In this paper, short-lived plant species collected in Egypt between 1700 and 1900 AD were used to investigate the possibility that the radiocarbon record had been influenced by reservoir effects. AMS radiocar...
Book
There is a notable lack of archaeological science used in Egyptology and Egyptian archaeology today. The reasons behind this are twofold: first, the discipline started with the early translation of Hieroglyphs which, combined with the large amount of written and pictorial material available, has long overshadowed the study of the material culture,...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents oxygen, strontium and neodymium isotopic analysis from a series of Late Bronze Age glasses from Egypt and Mesopotamia. It was found that oxygen and neodymium isotopes alone cannot readily distinguish between glasses from the various sites. However, combined Sr and Nd isotope analysis separate the data into three groups: an Egypt...
Article
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The origins of raw glass used to fashion Mycenaean beads were explored using trace elements analyzed by laser ablation ICP-TOFMS. The use of this minimally destructive technique for the in-situ analysis of these beads was ideal given that the material is exceedingly rare and thus too sensitive to make use of traditional micro-sampling (e.g., by sca...
Article
Full-text available
The microstructures and chemical compositions of some 15 faience objects from Crete spanning the period from Middle Minoan IIIA through to Late Minoan IA are determined using analytical scanning electron microscopy. The Minoan faience is compared with replicate faience beads produced in the laboratory using various combinations of manganese, copper...