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Archaeology postgraduate wins prestigious Rakow Grant

13 March 2008

Alabastra dating to the 6th-5th centuries BC

Alabastra dating to the 6th-5th centuries BC

Archaeology postgraduate Frances Liardet has won a prestigious Rakow Grant from the Corning Museum of Glass, New York.  For her PhD research, Frances is investigating object typologies and what they tell us about the people who made them.  For this purpose she is studying a group of glass vessels from the Mediterranean known as alabastra and dating to the 6th-5th centuries BC (pictured).  She is interested in how the different classes of this group of vessel relate to the craftspeople who made them, and to the processes of teaching and learning glass working.  

Frances said “This grant will allow me to undertake a series of experiments with professional glass workers.  Using glass of authentic composition, we are going to replicate the ancient vessels and determine how they were made, and how likely certain groups are to have been made by the same or different groups of craftsmen.”  Frances’s work draws on an understanding of developments in physiology, practice theory, sociological studies of embodiment, and general ethnographic studies of craft activity, to shed new light on the past.  


Her PhD supervisor, Professor Ian Freestone, said “Frances presented some of her earlier experiments at an international conference in Antwerp last year, and the audience was fascinated.  I am sure that this new study will be just as informative, and I can’t wait to see the results.”