The history of glassmaking can be traced back to 3500 BCE in Mesopotamia, but Mesopotamians may have created second-rate copies of glass objects from Egypt, where this complex craft actually originated. Other archaeological evidence suggests that the first true glass was made in coastal north Syria, Mesopotamia or Egypt. The earliest known glass objects, of the mid second millennium BC, were beads, perhaps initially created as accidental by-products of metal-working (slags) or during the production of faience, a pre-glass vitreous material made by a process similar to glazing.[n 1] Glass remained a luxury material, and the disasters that overtook late Bronze Age civilizations seem to have brought glass-making to a halt.
Indigenous development of glass technology in South Asia may have begun in 1730 BC. In ancient China, though, glassmaking seems to have a late start, compared to ceramics and metal work. In the Roman Empire, glass objects have been recovered across the Roman Empire in domestic, industrial and funerary contexts. Anglo-Saxon glass has been found across England during archaeological excavations of both settlement and cemetery sites. Glass in the Anglo-Saxon period was used in the manufacture of a range of objects including vessels, beads, windows and was even used in jewelry.