Tracing Textile Production from the Viking Age to the Middle Ages: Tools, Textiles, Texts and Contexts [Hardback]

Ingvild Øye (Author)

ISBN: 9781789257779 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2022 | Language: English 264p, H280 x W216 (mm) B/w

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Tracing Textile Production from the Viking Age to the Middle Ages


This book concerns textile production at the fringes of north-western Europe – areas in western Norway and the North Atlantic in the expanding, dynamic and transformative period from the early Viking Age into the Middle Ages. Textiles constitute one of the basic needs in human life – to protect and keep the body warm but also to show social status and affiliations. Textiles had a wide spectrum of use areas and qualities, fine and coarse in various contexts, and in the Viking Age not least related to the production of sails – all essential for the development and character of the period. So, what were the tools and textiles like, who made them, who used them and who exposed them? By tracing textile production from the remains of tools and textiles in varied landscapes and settings – Viking Age graves and in-situ workplaces from the whole period – and combining this with textual information, many layers of information are exposed about technology and qualities as well as gender, gender roles, social relations, power and networks. By combining tools, textiles and texts in various settings, this book aims to contextualise dispersed archaeological finds of tools and textiles to uncover patterns across larger areas and in a long-term perspective of half a millennium. Related to the overall societal changes from the early Viking Age raids, colonisation to centralisation to urbanisation in the Middle Ages, the tools and textiles reveal diversity, as well as stability and change.

Table of Contents

1. State of research
2. Perspectives and methods
3. Farming systems and textile production
4. Tracing the work processes
5. The tools in the grave – gender, social status, and agency
6. Tools and textiles
7. Nodes and networks in textile production?
8. Viking Age production sites
9 From rural to urban production – changing conditions for textile production in the Middle Ages?

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