It has been shown before that the combined use of Sr and Nd isotopes allows the geographical origin of
Roman primary glass production to be traced. Nd isotopes are characteristic of the mineral fraction other than quartz in
the silica sand used for the glass, while Sr isotopes are in most cases characteristic of the lime component, either attributed
to the sand or as a separate constituent in the form of shell. In this study, the relationship between a sand raw material and
the resulting ancient glass in terms of their trace element and Sr-Nd isotopic compositions is investigated. Especially the
relevance of REE versus the use of isotopic techniques in the provenance determination of glass production is evaluated.
The REE content of Roman glass is shown to be dependent on the clay fraction of the sand, and is identical for most
possible provenance areas in the Mediterranean. Conversely, elements such as Zr, Hf, Ti, Sn are controlled by heavy
mineral concentrations in sand and offer great potential as indicators of glass provenance.