Arabic script adorns these pieces of Islamic glass found at the Old Castle at Caerlaverock. The glass is typical of vessels made in Syria up until 1400, and these shards are thought to date from the late 1100s. Though tiny, the fragments throw new light on Scotland’s contact with the wider world in the 13th century.
It’s clear that luxury objects were brought to Scotland from as far as away as the eastern Mediterranean in medieval times. The glass may have come to Caerlaverock as a result of trade. Or it may have been brought back as the property of returning crusaders.
The fragments were found during excavations carried out from 1998 to 1999. They remain the only finds of their kind made on Scottish soil.