Written sources from the ancient Near East and eastern Mediterranean, from the third to the first millennia BC, provide a wealth of terms for textiles. The twenty-two chapters in the present volume offer the first comprehensive survey of this important material, with special attention to evidence for significant interconnections in textile terminology among languages and cultures, across space and time. For example, the Greek word for a long shirt, khiton , ki-to in Linear B, derives from a Semitic root, ktn . But the same root in Akkadian means linen, in Old Assyrian a garment made of wool, and perhaps cotton, in many modern languages. These and numerous other instances underscore the need for detailed studies of both individual cases and the common threads that link them. This example illustrates on the one hand how connected some textiles terms are across time and space, but it also shows how very carefully we must conduct the etymological and terminological enquiry with constantly changing semantics as the common thread. The survey of textile terminologies in 22 chapters presented in this volume demonstrates the interconnections between languages and cultures via textiles.
Cecile Michel is Director of Research at the CNRS. She specialises in the study of cuneiform tablets, and trade and society in Upper Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Marie-Louise Nosch is Director of the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen and Research professor at the SAXO Institute, University of Copenhagen.
1. Synonymic variation in the field of textile terminology: A study in diachrony and synchrony (Pascaline dury and Susanne Lervad) 2. The basics of textile tools and textile technology: From fibre to fabric (Eva Andersson Strand) 3. Textile terminologies and classifications: Some methodological and chronological aspects (Sophie Desrosiers) 4. Weaving in Mesopotamia during the Bronze Age: Archaeology, techniques, iconography (Catherine Breniquet) 5. Cloths - garments - and keeping secrets. Textile classification and cognitive chaining in the ancient Egyptian writing system (Ole Herslund) 6. The `linen list' in Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom Egypt: Text and textile reconciled (Jana Jones) 7. Clothing in Sargonic Mesopotamia: Visual and written evidence (Benjamin R. Foster) 8. Textiles in the administrative texts of the royal archives of Ebla (Syria, 24th century BC) with particular emphasis on coloured textiles (Maria Giovanna Biga) 9. Les noms semitiques des tissus dans les textes d'Ebla (Jacopo Pasquali) 10. New texts regarding the neo-Sumerian textiles (Franceso Pomponio) 11. The colours and variety of fabrics from Mesopotamia during the Ur III period (2050 BC)(Hartmut Waetzoldt) 12. The textiles traded by the Assyrians in Anatolia (19th-18th centuries BC) (Cecile Michel and Klaas R. Veenhof) 13. Tools, procedures and professions: A review of the Akkadian textile terminology (Agnete Wisti Lassen) 14. Les textiles du Moyen-Euphrate a l'epoque paleo-babylonienne d'apres un ouvrage recent (Anne-Claude Beaugeard) 15. Linen in Hittite inventory texts (Matteo Vigo) 16. Textile terminology in the Ugaritic texts (Juan-Pablo Vita) 17. The terminology of textiles in the linear B tablets, including some considerations on linear A logograms and abbreviations (Maurizio del Freo, Marie-Louise Nosch and Francoise Rougemont) 18. Mycenaean textile terminology at work: The KN Lc(1)-tablets and the occupational nouns of the textile industry (Eugenio R. Lujan) 19. Les textiles neo-assyriens et leurs couleurs (Pierre Villard) 20. Textile terminology in the Neo-Babylonian documentation (Francis Joannes) 21. Garments in non-cultic context (Neo-Babylonian period) (Stefan Zawadzki) 22. Some considerations about Vedic, Avestan and Indoiranian textile terminology (Miguel Angel Andres-Toledo)