When pharaohs ruled Egypt, high-status groups around the Mediterranean exchanged fancy glass items to cement political alliances. New archaeological finds indicate that by about 3,250 years ago, Egypt had become a major glass producer and was shipping the valuable material throughout the region for reworking by local artisans.
This discovery settles a more-than-century-old debate over whether ancient Egyptians manufactured raw glass themselves or imported it from Mesopotamia, say Thilo Rehren of University College London and Edgar B. Pusch of the Pelizaeus-Museum Hildesheim in Germany in the June 17 Science.
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