Spreading West

Early glassmaking sites on the Italian peninsula

Most of the major sites during the early days of glassmaking were located near the eastern Mediterranean coast, approximately six miles from shore. The nearby, forested hillsides provided fuel for the furnaces and a gentle early evening breeze would keep the furnace temperature hot. The short distance to the coast was convenient for the collection of raw materials and, subsequently, for the transportation of bulk glass stock to glassworking centers.

As glassmaking spread westward during the reign of Emperor Augustus (27 B.C.-A.D. 14), several major centers of production developed near coastal cities such as Naples and Aquileia in Italy, and Tarragona on the eastern Spanish coast.