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The Origin of Bent Glass

Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote in his Natural History, “A trading ship carrying nitrum anchored; its crew went ashore to prepare their dinner. Finding no stones on the beach with which to prop their cooking pots over the fire the sailors used lumps of nitrum from their ship to support their cookware. When these became heated, they combined with the sand from the beach to form a strange liquid that flowed in streams; and this, it is said, was the origin of bent glass.”
This is false. Cuneiform tablets containing glass-making recipes indicate that bent glass was most likely first manufactured by peoples residing in Syria, Babylonia (Iraq) and Mesopotamia (Iran) circa 3,000 BCE.

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