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Brief description from Religious Stained Glass Windows above :
In the 13th century BC, the earliest windows were unglazed openings in a roof to admit light during the day. Later,[when?] windows were covered with animal hide, cloth, or wood. Shutters that could be opened and closed came next.[when?] Over time, windows were built that both protected the inhabitants from the elements and transmitted light, using multiple small pieces of translucent material, such as flattened pieces of translucent animal horn, thin slices of marble, for example fengite, or pieces of glass, set in frameworks of wood, iron or lead. In the Far East, paper was used to fill windows. The Romans were the first known to use glass for windows, a technology likely first produced in Roman Egypt. Namely, in Alexandria ca. 100 AD cast glass windows, albeit with poor optical properties, began to appear, but these were small thick productions, little more than blown glass jars (cylindrical shapes) flattened out into sheets with circular striation patterns throughout. It would be over a millennium before a window glass became transparent enough to see through clearly, as we think of it now.
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