Tools, Textiles and Contexts: Textile Production in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age
Textile production is one of the most important crafts in Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age societies and recent interdisciplinary and collaborative work offers crucial new perspectives into this field. The new and updated catalogue of archaeological textile finds presented here clearly demonstrates, even from the few extant finds, that knowledge of the use of fibres and of elaborate textile techniques that were used to produce textiles of different qualities was well developed.
The functional analysis of spindle whorls and loom weights can be explored through experimental archaeology employing newly developed methodologies. The results bring new insights into the types of textile that may potentially have been made by such tools. This is highly pertinent as textile tools often constitute the single most important and plentiful type of evidence for the various stages of textile production in the archaeological record.The combination of experimental archaeology, analyses of textile tools and find contexts allows for a discussion of the nature of textile production at different sites, regions and time periods. A collaboration between archaeologists specialised in their site and textile tool specialists has produced data sets of a large number of textile tools from several Bronze Age settlements, including Khania, Malia, Midea, Tiryns, Troia and Tel Kabri. The results of these analyses provide unique insights into both the production processes and, significantly, into the range of types of textiles that could have been produced at specific sites. These results illustrate the central, social and economic impact of textile production in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age societies.
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