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Title: Cloth in prehistoric societies : the social context of cloth in prehistory, with case studies from northern Italy and the Alpine region from the Neolithic to Bronze Age
Author: Harris, S. M.
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
The aim of this thesis is to explore the social context of cloth from the Neolithic to Bronze Age (C.5500-1000BC) in the central Alpine region of Europe. The time spans from early farming to metal using societies and includes changes in the way cloth is produced and used. The Alpine region is a good place to study cloth as it includes waterlogged, frozen and salt environments where cloth is preserved. To achieve my aim I have reconsidered the definition of cloth as flexible, thin sheets of material that can be wrapped, folded, shaped and tied. The purpose of this is to approach the interrelated technologies of cloth types including animal skins, textiles, netting and twining. A further methodological concern is to investigate these cloth types in a holistic manner, as they would have existed in the societies, that is, throughout the whole sequence of production and use. I called this method the extended chame operatoire. To develop these stages in the production and use of cloth I investigate social contextual themes, including issues of time and place, the use of tools and equipment in relation to techniques and the social identity of participants in terms of gender, age and role. This approach is developed throughout the analysis of the extended chaine operatoire and applied more specifically to case studies of selected sites in the region. The cases studies include the waterlogged lake dwelling settlement of Homstaad Hornle IA, Lake Constance c. 3900 BC, the frozen Iceman from the Italian Alps, c. 3300 BC, the representation of cloth on the stelae from Sion, Swiss Valais c. 2800 BC, the waterlogged lake dwelling settlement of Molina di Ledro, Trentino c.2300-1500 BC and the salt preserved cloth artefacts from the Bronze Age salt mines in Hallstatt, Austria, c.1400 BC.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.639536  DOI: Not available
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