Early textile production was linked  to raw material procurement strategies. Fibre treatment and processing greatly depend on both, the nature and the quality of the resources that are used, as well as on the desired end products. Fortunately, the different modes of exploitation and use leave recognizable traces in the archaeological record. Especially the studies of textile production processes provide different strains of evidence for the investigation of technological adaptations.

The major focus within the Topoi Textile Revolution interdisciplinary research group was on  the introduction and intensification of wool use.For our final synthetic workshop we would like to broaden the focus by considering and exploring plant and animal raw materials that are represented in the early phases of fibre production.

The aim of the meeting “The competition of fibres” is to stimulate discussions on the relationship between different fibre resources and modes of their exploitation. Special attention will be given to the textile production process. The development of fibre material advantages should be reviewed in a broader context of environmental, cultural, economic and social causality.


Download: The Competition of Fibres| Abstracts | Booklet [PDF 1.03 MB]


15:00 - 15:15
Welcome and opening
15:15 - 15:45
Early Wool of Mesopotamia, ca. 7000-3000 BC. Between Prestige and Economy
Catherine BreniquetCentre d’Histoire “Espaces & Cultures”, Université Clermont Auvergne, France
15:45 - 16:15
Linen Textiles Production – Continuity and Discontinuity from the Neolithic Period to the Chalcolithic Period in the Southern Levant
Orit ShamirIsrael Antiquities Authority
16:15 - 16:45
Coffee break
16:45 - 17:15
Fibers, Fabrics, and Looms: A link between animal fibers and warp weighted looms in the Iron Age Levant
Thaddeus NelsonDepartment of Anthropology, Stony Brook University, State University of New York, USA
17:15 - 17:45
Archaic, male exclusive, loom from Oman
Janet LevyCollege of Liberal Arts & Sciences, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
19:15 - 20:15
The Neolithic Revolution in the Fertile Crescent and the origins of fiber technology
Ofer Bar YosefAnthropology Department, Harvard University, USA
09:00 - 09:30
The Topoi Research Group 'Textile Revolution' - archaeological background and multi-proxy approach
Wolfram SchierInstitut für Prähistorische Archäologie, Freie Universität Berlin
09:30 - 10:00
Fibres to Fibres, Thread to Thread. Comparing Diachronic Changes in Large Spindle-whorl Samples
Ana GrabundzijaInstitut für Prähistorische Archäologie, Freie Universität Berlin
Chiara SchochInstitut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Freie Universität Berlin
10:00 - 10:30
Finding the woolly sheep: meta-analyses of archaeozoological data from SE-Europe and the Near East
Cornelia BeckerInstitut für Prähistorische Archäologie, Freie Universität Berlin
Norbert BeneckeNaturwissenschaftliches Referat an der Zentrale, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut
Hans Christian KüchelmannKnochenarbeit
10:30 - 11:00
Proxy evidence for early pastoral subsistence following an environmental approach
Martin Park (geb. Schumacher)Institut für Geographische Wissenschaften, Freie Universität Berlin
11:00 - 11:30
Coffee break
11:30 - 12:00
Taming the fibers. Tradition and innovations in the textile cultures of Neolithic Greece
Kalliope SarriThe Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
12:00 - 12:30
Ex Oriente Ars ? Anatolianizing spindle-whorls in the Early Bronze Age Aegean and their implications for fiber crafts
Sophia VakirtziDepartment of History and Archaeology, University of Crete, Greece
12:30 - 13:30
Lunch break
13:30 - 14:00
Flax, wool or both? Evidence for different types of fibres in Early Bronze Age Greece (3rd Millennium BC)
Malgorzata SiennickaThe Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
14:00 - 14:30
Different skills for different fibres? The use of flax and wool in textile technology of Bronze Age Greece in light of archaeological experiments
Agatha UlanowskaPolish Academy of Sciences, Poland
14:30 - 15:00
Coffee break
15:00 - 15:30
Fibres for Splicing - Technology and Technique in the Ancient Mediterranean
Margarita GlebaThe McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
Susanna HarrisSchool of Humanities, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom
15:30 - 16:00
The Travelling Spinners of the 4th Millennium BC in the Balkans
Vanya PetrovaArchaeology Department, Sofia University "St.Kliment Ohridsky"
16:00 - 16:30
Plants and plant fibres of the Eastern Baltic Littoral in the Neolithic – Bronze Age: experiments on processing and textile production
Virginia RimkuteArcheologijos katedra, Vilniaus universitetas, Lithuania
18:00 - 19:30
Über die Archäobiologie im 20. Jahrhundert
Helmut KrollInstitute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
19:30 - 21:00
Reception and buffet
09:00 - 09:30
Know-how about flax production of Neolithic farmers in the circum-alpine region
Sabine KargThe Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
09:30 - 10:00
"Verkannte Revolution", Bedeutung von Gehölzbast im Kontext neolithischer und frühbronzezeitlicher Textilien aus Feuchtbodensiedlungen
Johanna Banck-BurgessLandesamt für Denkmalpflege, Stuttgart
10:00 - 10:30
Wettbewerb der Fasern – Textile Materialien der Steinzeit und ihre Verarbeitung
Anne ReichertMuseum für Archäologie und Ökologie Dithmarschen
10:30 - 11:00
Coffee break
11:00 - 11:30
Hallstatt Textiles - Raw materials, Textile Technologies, Innovations and Cultural Response in Central Europe in the 2nd and 1st mill. BC
Karina GrömerNaturhistorisches Museum Wien
11:30 - 12:00
Microscopic and archaeogenetic studies of hair
Elena NikulinaZentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie, Schleswig
Ulrich SchmölckeZentrum für Baltische und Skandinavische Archäologie, Schleswig
12:00 - 12:30
Competing fibres: the plurality of clothing solutions
Linda HurcombeArchaeology Department, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
12:30 - 13:30
Final discussion