Glass Pavilion

The Eretz Israel Glass Pavilion takes visitors on a unique journey through time, traveling back thousands of years to the earliest days of glassmaking in this region. Donated from the rich private collection of Dr. Walter Moses, who founded the Eretz Israel Museum in 1958, this rare and beautiful assemblage of glass has been enhanced over the years by exciting new acquisitions and significant donations.

Visitors to the Glass Pavilion are drawn not only by the enchanting displays of ancient glass objects, but also by the presentation of the history, range and intricate art of glassmaking.  Among the unique features are fragile relics of glass dating from Biblical times, as well as some of the earliest blown glass discovered from the Roman period. Contributing greatly to the study of the origins of glassmaking, and especially the important invention of glass blowing, the Pavilion highlights the crucial role played by this region in the discovery of glass and its production.  
Pre-Blown Glass, Late Bronze Age to Hellenistic period

(15th -1st centuries BCE)
The most ancient method of manufacturing glass utensils is core-forming.  Using this technique, artisans created vessels, as seen in this exhibit, with a characteristic colorful opaque appearance, imitating by design such semi-precious stones as turquoise, lapis lazuli and alabaster. During the Hellenistic period (3rd - 1st centuries B.C.), casting or mold-forming became an established technique, particularly in the production of large and small bowls.


Blown Glass I, Roman and Byzantine periods

(1st- 7th centuries)
The world of glass was transformed with the introduction of glass-blowing, one of society’s key technological discoveries. With the greater ease of production came lowered costs that led to a jump in their popularity. View an array of exquisite perfume bottles, created by blowing glass into a mold, adorned with decorations in relief.

Two rare and significant vessels are notable in this exhibit: a delicate drinking horn with two openings, known by its Greek name, rhyton; and "Ennion`s Blue Jug," bearing the signature of the artist, who lived in the first half of the 1st century, and representing one of his most beautiful and famous creations.
Blown Glass II, Islamic period

(7th-15th centuries)
Glass vessels made in Eastern Mediterranean countries after the Arab conquest in the 7th century are displayed here. A highlight among the cosmetic containers with applied plastic decorations, which typified the beginning of the Islamic period, is an anthropomorphic rhyton.  One of the most magnificent creations of Islamic art, a 14th-century Mameluke mosque lamp painted with enamel colors and gold is the centerpiece of this section.


The Glass Furnace from Khirbet Samariyah 
The remnants of a glass furnace from the 13th century, discovered alongside the Crusader fortress at  Sommelaria, north of Acre, is an extraordinary archaeological find. Glass residue still coats the floor of its melting chamber. Chunks of glass melted in ceramic bowls and other important finds unearthed in the dig fill the nearby showcases.