There is evidence that ever since early prehistory, textiles have always had more than simply a utilitarian function. Textiles express who we are - our gender, age, family affiliation, occupation, religion, ethnicity and social, political, economic and legal status. Besides expressing our identity, textiles protect us from the harsh conditions of the environment, whether as clothes or shelter. We use them at birth for swaddling, in illness as bandages and at death as shrouds. We use them to carry and contain people and things. We use them for subsistence to catch fish and animals and for transport as sails. In fact, textiles represent one of the earliest human craft technologies and they have always been a fundamental part of subsistence, economy and exchange. Textiles have an enormous potential in archaeological research to inform us of social, chronological and cultural aspects of ancient societies. In archaeology, the study of textiles is often relegated to the marginalised zone of specialist and specialised subject and lack of dialogue between textile researchers and scholars in other fields means that as a resource, textiles are not used to their full potential or integrated into the overall interpretation of a particular site or broader aspects of human activity. Textiles and Textile Production in Europe is a major new survey that aims to redress this. Twenty-three chapters collect and systematise essential information on textiles and textile production from sixteen European countries, resulting in an up-to-date and detailed sourcebook and an easily accessible overview of the development of European textile technology and economy from prehistory to AD 400. All chapters have an introduction, give the chronological and cultural background and an overview of the material in question organised chronologically and thematically. The sources of information used by the authors are primarily textiles and textile tools recovered from archaeological contexts. In addition, other evidence for the study of ancient textile production, ranging from iconography to written sources to palaeobotanical and archaeozoological remains are included. The introduction gives a summary on textile preservation, analytical techniques and production sequence that provides a background for the terminology and issues discussed in the various chapters. Extensively illustrated, with over 200 colour illustrations, maps, chronologies and index, this will be an essential sourcebook not just for textile researchers but also the wider archaeological community.
Textiles comprise a vast and wide category of material culture and constitute a crucial part of the ancient economy. Yet, studies of classical antiquity still often leave out this important category of material culture, partly due to the textiles themselves being only rarely preserved in the archaeological record. This neglect is also prevalent in scholarship on ancient Greek religion and ritual, although it is one of the most vibrant and rapidly developing branches of classical scholarship. The aim of the present enquiry is, therefore, to introduce textiles into the study of ancient Greek religion and thereby illuminate the roles textiles played in the performance of Greek ritual and their wider consequences. Among the questions posed are how and where we can detect the use of textiles in the sanctuaries, and how they were used in rituals including their impact on the performance of these rituals and the people involved. Chapters centre on three themes: first, the dedication of textiles and clothing accessories in Greek sanctuaries is investigated through a thorough examination of the temple inventories. Second, the use of textiles to dress ancient cult images is explored. The examination of Hellenistic and Roman copies of ancient cult images from Asia Minor as well as depictions of cult images in vase-painting in collocation with written sources illustrates the existence of this particular ritual custom in ancient Greece. Third, the existence of dress codes in the Greek sanctuaries is addressed through an investigation of the existence of particular attire for ritual personnel as well as visitors to the sanctuaries with the help of iconography and written sources. By merging the study of Greek religion and the study of textiles, the current study illustrates how textiles are, indeed, central materialisations of Greek cult, by reason of their capacity to accentuate and epitomize aspects of identity, spirituality, position in the religious system, by their forms as links between the maker, user, wearer, but also as key material agents in the performance of rituals and communication with the divine.
Textile and dress production, from raw materials to finished items, has had a significant impact on society from its earliest history. The essays in this volume offer a fresh insight into the emerging interdisciplinary research field of textile and dress studies by discussing archaeological, iconographical and textual evidence within a broad geographical and chronological spectrum. The thirteen chapters explore issues, such as the analysis of textile tools, especially spindle whorls, and textile imprints for reconstructing textile production in contexts as different as Neolithic Transylvania, the Early Bronze Age North Aegean and the Early Iron Age Eastern Mediterranean; the importance of cuneiform clay tablets as a documentary source for both drawing a detailed picture of the administration of a textile industry and for addressing gender issues, such as the construction of masculinity in the Sumerian kingdoms of the 3rd millennium BC; and discussions of royal and priestly costumes and clothing ornaments in the Mesopotamian kingdom of Mari and in Mycenaean culture. Textile terms testify to intensive exchanges between Semitic and Indo-European languages, especially within the terminology of trade goods. The production and consumption of textiles and garments are demonstrated in 2nd millennium Hittite Anatolia; from 1st millennium BC Assyria, a cross-disciplinary approach combines texts, realia and iconography to produce a systematic study of golden dress decorations; and finally, the important discussion of fibres, flax and wool, in written and archaeological sources is evidence for delineating the economy of linen and the strong symbolic value of fibre types in 1st millennium Babylonia and the Southern Levant. The volume is part of a pair together with Greek and Roman Textiles and Dress: An Interdisciplinary Anthology edited by Mary Harlow and Marie-Louise Nosch.
Twenty chapters present the range of current research into the study of textiles and dress in classical antiquity, stressing the need for cross and inter-disciplinarity study in order to gain the fullest picture of surviving material. Issues addressed include: the importance of studying textiles to understand economy and landscape in the past; different types of embellishments of dress from weaving techniques to the (late introduction) of embroidery; the close links between the language of ancient mathematics and weaving; the relationships of iconography to the realities of clothed bodies including a paper on the ground breaking research on the polychromy of ancient statuary; dye recipes and methods of analysis; case studies of garments in Spanish, Viennese and Greek collections which discuss methods of analysis and conservation; analyses of textile tools from across the Mediterranean; discussions of trade and ethnicity to the workshop relations in Roman fulleries. Multiple aspects of the production of textiles and the social meaning of dress are included here to offer the reader an up-to-date account of the state of current research. The volume opens up the range of questions that can now be answered when looking at fragments of textiles and examining written and iconographic images of dressed individuals in a range of media. The volume is part of a pair together with Prehistoric, Ancient Near Eastern and Aegean Textiles and Dress: an interdisciplinary anthology edited by Mary Harlow, C_cile Michel and Marie-Louise Nosch
Weaving and Fabric in Antiquity: Materiality – Representation – Epistemology – Metapoetics presents 11 papers arranged under the four headings of the title which focus on the process of textile manufacture, the weaving process itself, and the materiality of fabric. Contributions address the problematic issues of cognitive archaeology, consumer research, literary theory and themes addressing both philosophical history and the history of reception of ideas and practice. The contributions seek both to close the critical gaps with respect to weaving, a broad and complex field in the area of ancient cultural techniques, and to identify new themes. Accordingly, the submissions expand our focus into late antiquity, to integrate texts such as letters written on Papyrus detailing the everyday correspondence of an Egyptian family or to spotlight the meaning of textile terms and the history of misunderstandings associated therein. Frequently overused analogies between writing and weaving are also examined in terms of their legitimacy as well as their limits. The papers presented here result from an international and interdisciplinary conference under the same title held in Castelen, near Basel in 2012. TEXT MOSTLY IN GERMAN
Sozialer Rang, Beruf, Geschlecht und Alter ist der Kleidung ebenso ablesbar wie ethnische Zugehörigkeit oder der Einfluss von Völkern am Rande des Römischen Reiches. Kleidung demonstriert aber auch den Wandel in den Moden, die Korrelation zwischen Tradition und Innovation sowie lokale und politische Verortungen. Der Facettenreichtum des Bandes ist einem internationalen Team von Autoren zu verdanken, die das Thema multidisziplinär aufbereiten und die archäologischen Zeugnisse und Bilder wie die Quellentexte zum Sprechen bringen. Profunde neue Forschungsergebnisse werden einer großen Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht. Ausstellung und Begleitband bieten neue Einsichten in die Alltagswelt des Römischen Reiches. 0Exhibition: Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen, Mannheim, Germany (18.3.-29.7.2012).0.
Die Laxdoela saga gehört zu den literarisch anspruchsvollen lslendinga sögur und hat bereits vielfach das Interesse der Forschung auf sich gezogen. Die Kontroverse zwischen der These einer germanisch-heidnischen oder aber christlichen Genese der Sagaliteratur wurde hinsichtlich der Laxdoela meist zugunsten des erstgenannten Ansatzes entschieden. Die Interpretation dieser Arbeit geht diesbezüglich neue Wege, indem das Werk im Rahmen einer Gesamtanalyse konsequent in christlich-mittelalterliche Traditionsstränge eingebettet wird.
This richly illustrated book presents a selection of the rich and varied iconographic material from the Scandinavian Late Iron Age (AD 400-1050) depicting clothed human figures, from an archaeological textile and clothing perspective. The source material consists of five object categories: gold foils, gold bracteates, helmet plaques, jewellery, and textile tapestries and comprises over 1000 different images of male and female costumes which are then systematically examined in conjunction with our present knowledge of archaeological textiles. In particular, the study explores the question of whether the selected images complement the archaeological clothing sources, through a new analytical tool which enables us to compare and contrast the object categories in regard to material, function, chronology, context and interpretation. The tool is used to record and analyze the numerous details of the iconographic costumes, and to facilitate a clear and easy description. This deliberate use of explicit costume shapes enhances our interpretation and understanding of the Late Iron Age clothing tradition. Thus, the majority of the costumes depicted are identified in the Scandinavian archaeological textile record, demonstrating that the depictions are a reliable source of research for both iconographical costume and archaeological clothing. The book contributes with new information on social, regional and chronological differences in clothing traditions from ca. AD 400 to the Viking Age.

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