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Weaving Clothes to Shape in the Ancient World: The Tunic and Toga of the Arringatore

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... Clothing depicted on fi gurines, statues, vases and tomb paintings is often rendered with minute details of shape, pattern, technique and colour. For example, the late Etruscan statue of Aulus Metellus has been demonstrated to have suffi cient details to reconstruct not only his garments but also the techniques of their manufacture (Granger-Taylor 1982). ...
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... Archaeological textiles show that Roman textiles generally were woven to shape, including semicircular cloaks with or without hoods, and sleeved tunics (GRANGER-TAYLOR 1982). Warps for garment woven to shape are wide but relatively short (HALD 1946: 67-78;WILD 1994: 9, 20-21). ...
... The two-dimensional way of working 'in the flat', observed in the Vimose coat, corresponds closely to the manner in which sleeved tunics were confected in the Roman period (Figure 10) (Wijnhoven 2015). These were woven to shape on a loom as single pieces of textile that were later folded over and sewn at the sides and under the sleeves (Granger-Taylor 1982;Hald 1946: 67-69). The fact that working in the flat was standard in tunic confection and that the technique was also used in making the Vimose coat of mail strongly suggested that this may have been the customary method of mail construction in Roman times both in and out of the Empire. ...
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Mail armour is made of many interlinking metal rings. It has been a popular type of defensive gear through the centuries, and this popularity has in part been due to mail armour’s flexibility. However, this very flexibility today hinders its conservation, interpretation and display. Mail pieces retrieved from archaeological contexts are often in such poor state of preservation that their original shape is unrecognizable. This poses a challenge not only for conserving these artefacts, but also for understanding them. This paper describes a conservation technique for flexible mail that involves restoring preserved rings to their original position and filling in the remaining gaps with dummy rings. In addition to stabilizing the mesh of mail, this measure also aids the artefact’s interpretation. The advantages of using this method with archaeological specimens are presented by means of a case-study concerning the remains of a Roman mail coat found near Novae, Bulgaria. The case-study shows that the choice of conservation technique greatly influences the amount of information that researchers can obtain from this material.
... This was woven to shape, beginning with a tablet-woven starting border at one sleeve, adding further warp threads (and starting borders) for the body section and reducing them again before making the second sleeve. This way of constructing woven-to-shape garments is well known from the Roman world (Granger-Taylor 1982). The Reepsholt tunic has a z-spun warp, while the weft alternates between two s-spun threads and one z-spun; moreover, the s-spun wefts are made from darker fibres than the z-spun warp and weft yarns, giving it a mottled appearance. ...
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As the temperature rises each year, the assemblages of prehistoric hunters emerge from the ice. Archaeologists in Norway are now conducting regular surveys in the mountains to record the new finds. A recent example presented here consists of a whole tunic, made of warm wool and woven in diamond twill. The owner, who lived in the late Iron Age (third–fourth centuries AD), was wearing well-worn outdoor clothing, originally of high quality.
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This volume provides an ambitious synopsis of the complex, colourful world of textiles in ancient Mediterranean iconography. A wealth of information on ancient textiles is available from depictions such as sculpture, vase painting, figurines, reliefs and mosaics. Commonly represented in clothing, textiles are also present in furnishings and through the processes of textile production. The challenge for anyone analysing ancient iconography is determining how we interpret what we see. As preserved textiles rarely survive in comparable forms, we must consider the extent to which representations of textiles reflect reality, and critically evaluate the sources. Images are not simple replicas or photographs of reality. Instead, iconography draws on select elements from the surrounding world that were recognisable to the ancient audience, and reveal the perceptions, ideologies, and ideas of the society in which they were produced. Through examining the durable evidence, this anthology reveals the ephemeral world of textiles and their integral role in the daily life, cult and economy of the ancient Mediterranean.
Book
Full-text available
This volume provides an ambitious synopsis of the complex, colourful world of textiles in ancient Mediterranean iconography. A wealth of information on ancient textiles is available from depictions such as sculpture, vase painting, figurines, reliefs and mosaics. Commonly represented in clothing, textiles are also present in furnishings and through the processes of textile production. The challenge for anyone analysing ancient iconography is determining how we interpret what we see. As preserved textiles rarely survive in comparable forms, we must consider the extent to which representations of textiles reflect reality, and critically evaluate the sources. Images are not simple replicas or photographs of reality. Instead, iconography draws on select elements from the surrounding world that were recognisable to the ancient audience, and reveal the perceptions, ideologies, and ideas of the society in which they were produced. Through examining the durable evidence, this anthology reveals the ephemeral world of textiles and their integral role in the daily life, cult and economy of the ancient Mediterranean.
Article
This volume presents the results of a workshop that took place on 24 November 2017 at the Centre for Textile Research (CTR), University of Copenhagen. The event was organised within the framework of the MONTEX project—a Marie Skłodowska-Curie individual fellowship conducted by Maria Mossakowska-Gaubert in collaboration with the Contextes et Mobiliers programme of the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo (IFAO), and with support from the Institut français du Danemark and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. Twelve essays are arranged in 4 sections: I. Weaving looms: texts, images, remains; II. Technology of weaving: study cases; III. Dyeing: terminology and technology; IV. Textile production in written sources: organisation and economy. Contributors include: Maria Mossakowska-Gaubert, Johanna Sigl, Fleur Letellier-Willemin, Lise Bender Jørgensen, Anne Kwaspen, Barbara Köstner, Peder Flemestad, Ines Bogensperger & Helga Rösel-Mautendorfer, Isabelle Marthot-Santaniello, Aikaterini Koroli, Kerstin Dross-Krüpe, Jennifer Cromwell, and Dominique Cardon. With 66 full-colour illustrations.
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Of Lise Bender Jørgensen’s many valuable contributions to archaeology, her catalogues of Scandinavian (1986) and North European (1992) archaeological textiles are among the most signif cant and long lasting. At the time of writing, little was known about the prehistoric textiles of Italy and comparative material from South Europe included less than ten Italian sites where textiles have been found. Since the more than two decades following Bender Jørgensen’s publications, archaeological textiles of Italy number in hundreds if not thousands, f lling a gap in the European textile corpus. As a tribute to and continuation of Bender Jørgensen’s groundbreaking work, this contribution provides an overview of the archaeological textiles of Italy known today from prehistory through the Roman period.
Article
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Of Lise Bender J?rgensen?s many valuable contributions to archaeology, her catalogues of Scandinavian (1986) and North European (1992) archaeological textiles are among the most signif cant and long lasting. At the time of writing, little was known about the prehistoric textiles of Italy and comparative material from South Europe included less than ten Italian sites where textiles have been found. Since the more than two decades following Bender J?rgensen?s publications, archaeological textiles of Italy number in hundreds if not thousands, f lling a gap in the European textile corpus. As a tribute to and continuation of Bender J?rgensen?s groundbreaking work, this contribution provides an overview of the archaeological textiles of Italy known today from prehistory through the Roman period.
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Male CostumeFemale CostumeChildren's ClothingTextiles apart from ClothingThe Roman Impact
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