Archaeological evidence for early wool exploitation in South East and Central Europe
Fachbereich Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften
Institut für Prähistorische Archäologie
Freie Universität Berlin
The presented study of “Archaeological Evidence for Early Wool Processing in South East and Central Europe” focuses on clarifying the introduction of fleece baring sheep husbandry and the subsequent “textile revolution”. It is a part of a doctoral research project that was financially supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) funded Cluster of Excellence 264 “Topoi” and its results report on a large textile tool sample compiled from a broad 26-site cluster across the Pannonian Plain region. Due to the rareness of actual textile evidence, the majority of research in the frame of prehistoric textile archaeology relies on different sources of information for the purpose of investigating raw materials. Unlike rare direct evidence, textile tools are well represented in the prehistoric contexts across the investigated region of the Pannonian Plain. The main methodology applied in this research fully exploits their potential for addressing the issues of textile fibre materials, techniques and final products. The proposed fibre innovation is investigated through changes in the eneolithic textile technologies that are interpreted within both their socio-cultural and environmental contexts. The relevance of the study lies mainly in its multi-regional and ‘cross-cultural’ characteristics; working within the particular sets of indirect archaeological evidence, specifically chosen on the basis of their association with fibre production and processing, enabled the analysis of a large number of textile tools from a wide geographical area. The main part of the textile tool analysis focuses on the comparison of the recorded spindle-whorl assemblages with the intention of recognizing and describing trends in raw fibre material procurement strategies.