Investigating social aspects of technical processes: cloth production from plant fibers in a Neolithic lake dwelling on Lake Constance, Germany

Harris, S. (2007) Investigating social aspects of technical processes: cloth production from plant fibers in a Neolithic lake dwelling on Lake Constance, Germany. In: Beugnier, V. and Crombé, P. (eds.) Plant Processing From A Prehistoric and Ethnographic Perspective. Series: BAR international series (1718). Archaeopress: Oxford, pp. 83-100. ISBN 9781407302010

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Abstract

Plants were an important source of raw materials for many types of cloth in Europe during the Neolithic. On the basis of evidence from waterlogged sites, the most significant raw materials were flax and tree bast, which were used to create woven textiles, twined cloth and netting. Looking towards the investigation of cloth in social anthropology, I propose that issues of time and place are a significant aspect of the social context of cloth. The aim of this paper is to investigate these issues in relation to processing cloth from plants, through a case study of the Neolithic lake dwelling of Hornstaad Hörnle IA on Lake Constance, Germany, dated c.3900 BC. Building on recent research into the way these cloth types were processed and constructed in the Neolithic, I use the evidence at Hornstaad Hörnle IA to consider the location of these tasks in the home, village and wider landscape, as temporal aspects carried out daily, seasonally or over a number of years and in relation to the lives of members of the village. Through this I hope to show how the methods of processing cloth were not only a technical solution to satisfy the need for various types of cloth, but were part of the way that people’s lives were created and made meaningful.

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:Acceptance date unknown. date to allow upload of record.
Keywords:Plant, Archaeology, Fibre, Textile, Agriculture, Neolithic
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:Archaeopress
ISBN:9781407302010

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