1st Experimental Archaeology Conference Abstract – Susanna Harris
From the 1st Experimental Archaeology Conference, UCL London, 2006.
Experimenting as a means to understand cloth types from the Alpine area of Europe from the Neolithic to Bronze Age
PhD candidate,UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY
For my PhD I am researching the social context of cloth in the Alpine area of Europe from the Neolithic to Bronze Age. Cloth I define as flexible, thin sheets of material that can be folded, wrapped, shaped and tied. This includes woven textiles, animal skins, twined cloth, netting and knotless netting. One of the central issues of this research is to understand the relationship between cloth types. This is problematic, as many of these cloth types only exist as preserved fragments and are not made in the present day. To address this issue, I have turned to experimental archaeology to create some of the cloth types. Through these experiments I can ask: How can these cloth types be made? What tools do I need? What are
the physical characteristics of the cloth types?