Session: #133

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Ancient Textile Production from an Interdisciplinary Approach: Humanities and Natural Sciences Interwoven for our Understanding of Textiles
Nearly ten years have passed, since E. Andersson Strand, K.M. Frei, M. Gleba, U. Mannering, M.-L. Nosch and I. Skals published the paper ‘Old Textiles – New Possibilities’ (EJA 13.2, 2010), in which they presented a comprehensive overview of integrated, multidisciplinary approaches to studies on ancient textiles. Now, such approaches have become standard in textile archaeology, and new, emerging technologies are making their contributions felt.
In this session we aim to update this first overview by Andersson Strand et al., by presenting the current state-of-the-art, and by highlighting these new methods, as well as new possibilities in textile research. We welcome papers referring to a wide geo-chronological framework, starting from c. 4th millennium BCE to c. 500 CE, and covering a large area, from Europe and the Mediterranean, to the Near East and Asia.
We are particularly interested in all papers discussing the following aspects of textile archaeology:
– Human modifications of fibrous plants and woolly animals (e.g. analyses of archaeobotanical and archaeozoological data, patterns of transmission of plants and animals);
– Research on raw materials (e.g. conventional and improved analytical tools like SEM, wool quality measurements, isotopic tracing, proteomics, sheep DNA, metal thread analysis, processing of fibres, etc.);
– Textile analysis (e.g. splicing vs. spinning, textile imprints, composition of fabrics, creation of pattern types, etc.);
– Dyes and dye-stuffs (e.g. identification of dye-stuffs and composition of dyes; destructive and non-destructive methods);
– Research on textile tools (e.g. use-wear, geometry of tools vs. their functionality);
– Socio-economic background of textile production (e.g. craft specialization, production modes, patterns of transmission of skills);
– Big data in textile archaeology (e.g. statistical methods; critical evaluation of data and methods);
– Multidisciplinary research projects in textile archaeology; integrating data from different disciplines into interpretations and narratives.
textile archaeology, multidisciplinarity, Europe, Mediterranean, Near East, Asia
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Main organiser:
Agata Ulanowska (Poland) 1
Karina Grömer (Austria) 2
Joanna Dyer (United Kingdom) 3
Ina Vanden Berghe (Belgium) 4
1. Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw
2. Natural History Museum Vienna
3. British Museum, London
4. Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage, Brussels