By Ian C. Freestone, Ruth E. Jackson-Tal, and Oren Tal
Journal of Glass Studies, Vol.50 (2008)
Introduction: In an earlier publication, we presented an analysis of a raw glass furnace uncovered during excavations in the Byzantine city of Apollonia-Arsuf in 2002, and two additional raw glass furnaces found during excavations in 1950. We suggested that the discovery of three raw glass furnaces at the site strengthens the assumption that the city was a major center for the making of both primary and secondary glass in the sixth and seventh centuries. This article attempts to verify this assumption.
Apollonia-Arsuf is located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, 17 kilometers north of Jaffa (Joppa, south of Tel aviv) and 34 kilometers south of Caesarea. The site has been excavated continuously during the last 30 years. Once a modest coastal settlement, it became the urban center of the southern Sharon plain as early as the Persian period through the mid-13th century. The city is noted in several Byzantine-period sources. During that time, Apollonia became Sozousa, like other sites named after apollo Soter. Official documents of the synod of ephesus, held in 449, indicate that, in the mid-fifth century, Sozousa/Apollonia was a city in the Byzantine province of Palaestina Prima, and that its Christian community was led by a bishop.