Glass containers started appearing during the Han Dynasty in China. Archaeological findings from this period, such as glass plates and ear cups discovered in tombs, indicate the presence of glassware. The communication and trade between China and the West during the Han Dynasty facilitated the introduction of foreign glass to China. For instance, Roman-style glass fragments were unearthed in a tomb from the Eastern Han Dynasty, showcasing the influence of Western glassware in China. Additionally, unique blue plate glass decorations were discovered in the tomb of the Nanyue King in Guangzhou.

During the Wei, Jin, Southern, and Northern Dynasties, a significant number of Western glassware items were imported into China, leading to the introduction of glass blowing techniques. The composition and technology of glassware underwent innovation, resulting in larger, thinner, transparent, and smoother glass containers. Examples of glassware discovered from this period include glass lenses, bottles, and polished glasses found in various tombs across China. Notably, a remarkable collection of intact glassware was unearthed from the tombs of Sui and Li Jingxun in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province.

In the Eastern Zhou Dynasty, the variety of glassware shapes increased. In addition to tubes and beads used as ornaments, new forms like Bi-shaped objects and Jian tubes emerged. Glass seals were also found in Sichuan and Hunan. The glassware during this period exhibited pure textures with colors ranging from white, light green, cream yellow to blue. Some glass beads were even colored to resemble dragonfly eyes. For example, the tomb of Zeng Houyi in Suixian County, Hubei Province yielded 73 glass beads with dragonfly eye patterns. These beads had a blue glass base with white and brown glass patterns. Analyzing the composition of glass beads and walls from the middle to late Warring States period, researchers found that they were composed of lead oxide and barium oxide, distinguishing them from ancient glass found in Europe, West Asia, and North Africa. As a result, it is speculated that these glassware items were likely produced in China.

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