Article Title

“The science and misteire of glazing”: Thoughts on the Use of Marked Window Leads in Archaeological Analysis


Marked window leads have the potential to add significant insights to the understanding of archaeological sites. One of the few artifacts that commonly bears a date, window leads can provide a terminus post quem (TPQ) for the feature or level in which they are found. There have been attempts to go beyond their use as a TPQ, and, based on these artifacts, describe architectural sequences, structural changes, and do feature comparisons. While all of these have produced interesting results, their validity remains uncertain because of a lack of basic data on glaziers and vise makers. This study looks at the adoption of the glazier’s vise in England, identifies several of the men who made them, and investigates the history of several of the glaziers that used them. Examples of archaeological analysis based on dated window leads are evaluated in light of these biographies.

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