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A cultural, scientific and technical study of the Durham lead cloth seal assemblage.

BANKHEAD, GARY (2016) A cultural, scientific and technical study of the Durham lead cloth seal assemblage. Masters thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis is an integrated and interdisciplinary study of 275 lead cloth seals dated from the mid-fourteenth to the early-nineteenth centuries. These recently discovered objects, recovered from a single submerged river-bed site located in the North-East of England, were once linked to the trade, industrial regulation and taxation of commercially produced cloth. They are presented here, catalogued and illustrated. These objects represent the largest assemblage of such material outside London and are of crucial significance for understanding the cloth trade in the late- and post-medieval period. Due to the unusual deposition conditions from which the objects were recovered, rare scraps of textiles have survived in many of the cloth seals. A range of scientific and analytical analyses was undertaken on three cloth seals containing textiles revealing important information. For the first time in the UK, ultra-high performance liquid chromatography (performed at The Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History, Glasgow University) was successfully used to extract colourants related to dyes from textile fragments preserved in lead cloth seals. This significant new information provides new insights into textile availability, trade and the consumption of cloth, mordants and dyestuffs in the late-sixteenth to early-nineteenth century.

Evidence from the cloth seals is combined with other documentary, cartographic and archaeological sources of evidence to produce a synthesis providing new understanding of the cloth trade in Durham in the late- and post-medieval periods. The research generated by this thesis has demonstrated not just the scale and extent of textile production in the City of Durham, but has also revealed evidence of hitherto unknown English and European trade routes.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Keywords:underwater archaeology, archaeology, small finds, conservation, Durham, medieval, lead cloth seals, cloth seals, textile analysis, textiles, cloth, cloth trade, dye, dye analysis, mordants, trade routes, post-medieval, sub-aqua, history
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:01 Dec 2016 08:33

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