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Title: Textile fibre preservation and statistical variation in burials : clothing evidence in Anglo-Saxon and Roman inhumations
Author: Serchisu, Fabio
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 8044
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2014
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This research challenges the archaeological record in at least three ways. Through the enquiry of thirteen selected case studies, namely four Roman cemeteries and nine Anglo-Saxon cemeteries, it reviews textile remains and grave objects associated with clothing and personal equipment. Firstly, this analysis evaluates the degree of variation between different populations through cultural traits, using for the first time the statistical formula elaborated by Penrose to discern different populations by some biological traits. Secondly, this research considers cultural and non-cultural factors, which may preserve textile in different forms. Some mechanisms of preservation for textile are already investigated by experimental studies. This subject is affected by its intrinsic incomplete condition, textiles occur less than other materials in the archaeological record. However, the archaeological reports often show a lack of interest that makes this subject even more inconclusive. It seems important that a full understanding of preservative mechanisms of textiles can improve the archaeological reconstructions. This aspect is also linked with the ERC InterArChive project that works for an ideal sampling strategy in burial contexts and for detecting organic remains in soil. Finally, the research questions the extent of the influence of taphonomic factors in making archaeological inferences based on the analyses of organic materials like textiles. In order to do so, it has taken research data on over 3862 inhumation graves and 3100 grave objects. These data are archived in a digital database, produced for this purpose. In addition, some SEM studies, carried out by the author, are also presented, in order to discuss the mechanisms of organic textile preservation.
Supervisor: Brothwell, Don ; Walsh, Kevin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available