Textile technology is older than any other ancient craft and is an instance of cognitive archaeology that provides vital information about society. In ancient Greece, textiles were considered among the principal and most fundamental cultural expressions. Athena, the goddess of the city, of intelligence and of skill was also the patron goddess of weaving. She taught the craft of textile production to women thus making them conduits of civilisation. During Classical times, textile production was a fundamental part of the economy and was practised also by men in both the domestic and artisanal spheres. The resulting technological sophistication is reflected in depictions of discrete or elaborate patterns, in the rich diversity of textile implements and in the variety in the quality of the extant textiles. In Textile Production in Classical Athens Stella Spantidaki provides the first synthesis of the available evidence from textual, iconographic and archaeological sources on textile production in 5th and 4th century BC Athens, employing an interdisciplinary perspective that sets the frame for future research in the field. As such this study is of special importance for textile specialists, ancient history scholars, historians of technology and students and will lead to a better understanding of ancient Greek textile production and Classical Athenian society. Presents a detailed consideration of the historical and social context of textile production in classical Athens; Examines and discusses evidence for the equipment, materials, processes and techniques employed at each stage of the full production sequence; Discusses the organisation of production and trade.
Stella Spantidaki is an honory Research Fellow at University College London where she is currently working on a collaborative project researching textile production in Iron Age Greece as part of a major research programme exploring the role of textile production and consumption in the formation of early states, using the example of Mediterranean Europe.
Preface Acknowledgements List of Illustrations List of Tables List of Maps Abbreviations Introduction Historical and social context Textiles and Cult Chapter 1: Sources Written sources Iconography Archaeological evidence Chapter 2: On the organisation of production Domestic sphere Information on specialisations Information on workshops Exchange and trade Conclusions Chapter 3: Materials Plant fibres Animal fibres Metal threads Mineral threads Dyestuffs Olive oil in textile production Conclusions Chapter 4: Thread Production Fibres preparation Wetting the fibres Pre-spinning Thread twist Spinning Splicing Quality and thickness of threads Spinning tools Conclusions Chapter 5: The warp-weighted loom Presentation of the loom Weaving Loom-weights Conclusions Chapter 6: Other techniques of textile production Weaving on small looms Plaiting Sprang Tablet weaving Felt Conclusions Chapter 7: Decorative techniques Decoration techniques using additional wefts Decoration using floating threads Embroidery Applique Crimpy textiles Conclusions Chapter 8: Colour Ancient Greek colour terms used for textiles Techniques of colour decoration Archaeological evidence of dyes Conclusions Chapter 9: Finishing Fulling Sewing Maintenance Scented textiles Conclusions Chapter 10: Terminological discussion Technical terms with more than one meaning Terms for garments Decorative terms Conclusions Annex A: Textiles Catalogue Materials and methods Studied fabrics Unstudied fabrics Annex B: List of ancient Greek textile terms Annex C: Preliminary study of spindle-whorls Annex D: Preliminary study of loom-weights On the functionality of loom-weights Corpus of loom-weights Study of loom-weights Results Conclusions Afterword Bibliography Editions of ancient works