What can the fragments of glass bottles or beakers retell from their past? In this episode, Christopher Mielke speaks with Tanja Tolar about this very particular type of source materials and discovers how much the fragments can say about trade, manufacturing techniques, imagery, diplomacy, and contacts between the Western and Middle East societies in the 15-16th century. 

Tanja Tolar talks about her work experience with fragmented materials, the images that could be found, and the utilization of glass objects in the Late Medieval World. She also reveals the connection between the imagery on glass objects (such as «seated ruler») and royal representation in public space, looking for the patterns and individual figures on the materials and symbolism of the images. The historian proves that the fragments of glass objects can recreate a fascinating context of long-distance trades in the Medieval World and the contacts between western and eastern markets. 

 Past Perfect! is CEU Medieval Radio’s show on medieval and early modern history and culture, where Christopher Mielke casually discusses with his guests various issues from the crusades to archeo-zoology to medieval urine sampling. The discussions are made with the aim to popularize medieval and early modern studies with the help of experts such as early musicians, historians, philologists and archeologists.

This episode was first recorded and broadcast in 2012.

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