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Durham e-Theses
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Current techniques of ancient textile analysis: a critical review

Henry, Philippa Anne (1994) Current techniques of ancient textile analysis: a critical review. Masters thesis, Durham University.



Throughout pre-history and historical times few items produced by people have been as central to daily life as textiles. Textiles have been produced in the majority of archaeological periods and in most geographic regions of the world. Their analysis thus has significant implications for the technological, cultural and social development and diversity of our ancestors. Over the last two decades unprecedented advances have taken place in the analysis of ancient textiles. It is the purpose of this study to critically examine these advances, and to assess their significance to meaningful cultural investigation. To ensure a coherent structure to the research, Scandinavian period textiles from York and Scotland are utilised. The data are particularly appropriate for this purpose as the different types of preservation, burial contexts and geographical areas in which they were found enables investigations into reactions to burial conditions and conservation techniques, as well as cultural-historical issues. When examining archaeological textiles it is necessary to have clear aims on the nature of the information required and how such information can be used. The fundamental reason for the analysis of textiles is to further an understanding of technological and culture history. To ensure optimum information is gained to facilitate cultural investigation and interpretation, an understanding of the conditions under which textiles survive and techniques of conservation is necessary. The use of appropriate analytical techniques to obtain technical details sufficient for full an accurate description of textiles is also essential. Finally, an awareness of the obstacles preventing us gaining this information is desirable. This thesis is therefore concentrated on these issues to form a base for future research.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1994
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:16 Nov 2012 10:50

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