Preparing skins in prehistory: a review of evidence and approaches.

Harris, S. (2011) Preparing skins in prehistory: a review of evidence and approaches. In: Thomson, R. and Mould, Q. (eds.) Leather tanneries: the archaeological evidence. Archetype Press for the Archaeological Leather Group: London, pp. 57-67. ISBN 9781904982616

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Publisher's URL: http://www.archetype.co.uk/publication-details.php?id=128

Abstract

In prehistoric Europe, where skins are preserved and can be analysed, the skins are cured rather than tanned. Although difficult to detect there are a number of sources of archaeological evidence that can be used in combination to build up an understanding of methods for curing skins in prehistoric societies. In this paper I outline some of the varied processes of preparing and curing skins and the corresponding archaeological evidence. The process of preparing and curing skins may be viewed through evidence of killing, butchery, skinning and curing processes such as scraping, stretching and applying substances such as minerals, fat or smoke. Evidence for this comes from animal bones, tools and use wear on the working surfaces of tools; preferably considering a combination of these sources of evidence. As with all technologies, it is also relevant to investigate the social organisation of production.

Item Type:Book Sections
Status:Published
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Harris, Dr Susanna
Authors: Harris, S.
Subjects:C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Publisher:Archetype Press for the Archaeological Leather Group
ISBN:9781904982616
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