Exploring the materiality of prehistoric cloth types

Harris, S. (2008) Exploring the materiality of prehistoric cloth types. In: Cunningham, P., Heeb, J. and Paardekooper, R. (eds.) Experiencing Archaeology by Experiment: Proceedings of the Experimental Archaeology Conference, Exeter 2007. Oxbow: Oxford, pp. 81-102. ISBN 9781842173428

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When we encounter cloth-type materials, whether textiles, twined cloth or animal skins from the Neolithic, Copper Age or Bronze Age of Europe they are usually fragmentary, fragile and decayed. In this state, we cannot understand what they were originally like, especially if they are cloth types that are no longer familiar today. The aim of this experiment is to move from the fragmentary and decayed cloth artefacts that no longer retain their original material qualities to a description and discussion of the original materials and materiality of prehistoric cloth types materials through looking at modern samples of cloth that are comparable to the original preserved fragments. In this paper I describe the selection of ten modern samples, the development of a method to describe their material surfaces and structures, then discuss how these results can be used to understand the materiality of these cloth types in past societies. In this article, a “sample” refers to the modern samples.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Archaeology, prehistory, textiles, experiment.
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

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