From Minos to Midas: Ancient Cloth Production in the Aegean and in Anatolia [Hardback]

Brendan Burke (Author)

ISBN: 9781842174067 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Series: Ancient Textiles Series | Volume: 7 | Year of Publication: 2010 | Language: English 240p, H242 x W170 (mm) 87 b/w illus, 5 maps, 19 tables

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From Minos to Midas


Textile production was of greater value and importance to people in the past than any other social craft activity: everyone depended on cloth. As with other craft goods, such as pottery, metal objects, or ivory carving, the large-scale production and exchange of textiles required specialization and some degree of centralization. This book takes an explicitly economic approach to textile production, focusing on regional centers, most often referred to as palaces, to understand the means by which states in the Aegean and Anatolia financed themselves through cloth industries. From this we can look for evidence of social stratification, inter-regional exchange, and organized bureaucracies. Spanning multiple millennia and various sources of evidence, Burke illustrates the complex nature of cloth production, exchange, and consumption and what this tells us about individual societies and prehistoric economies, as well as how developments in cloth industries reflect larger aspects of social organization.

Table of Contents

1. Framing the discussion
Spinning and weaving
Minoan Crete
Mycenean Greece
Iron Age Gordion

2. Prehistoric Textile Production on Crete
Cloth and cultural complexity
Neolithic knossos
Early Minoan Crete and the emergence of the palatrial system
The first palaces on Crete
Administration of cloth production
Minoan textile tools
Case studies

3. Cloth Production in the Mycenaean World
Textiles in the Mycenaean economy
The wool unit
The Tarasija system and the organization of labor
Mycenaean references to cloth
Various phases of cloth production in the tablets from Knossos
Mycenaean textile production at Pylos
Thebes and Mucena
Late Bronze Age art

4. Gordion and Phrygian cloth production
Phrygians of Gordion
Craft resodies
Contexts of productions

5. Comparative Textile Production and Conclusions
Near East
New world evidence

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