Archaeological traces

  • Past Women
  • Archaeological traces
  • From plants to cloth: carpology

From plants to cloth: carpology

The fabrics produced in Iberia were known, and in particular Strabo mentions how in Ampurias had a knack for weaving linen. Flax (Linum usitatissimum L.) is characterized by a seed oval, flat and slightly offset extremities. Seeds have been used to produce oil for food and also used as fibers for making fabrics.
In order to determine the seeds turn to the Carpology which is a branch of the archaeo. Since its perishable nature, the plant remains tend to decompose and disappear over time, but in certain conditions are preserved and can be retrieved. The most common form of conservation is carbonization, which can be accidental or intentional, although there are other ways, in water or mineralization. To recover these vegetables is necessary macrorremains systematic sampling strategy should be planned and designed in terms of settlement patterns and the type of issues that arise.
The identification is based mainly on the external morphology, and sometimes in the morphometry. In Iberian period remains have been found in Ampurias (Girona), also in the village of Coll del Moro (Gandesa, Tarragona), and recently in Puente Tables (Jaén).
Semilla de lino procedente de la casa 6 de Puente Tablas (Jaén), Fotografía: Eva Montes

Semilla de lino procedente de la casa 6 de Puente Tablas (Jaén), Fotografía: Eva Montes

  • Mujer tejiendo en un telar vertical. Periodo Argárico. Ilustración: Miguel Salvatierra


The Pastwomen Network co-organizes the International Seminar "Interdisciplinary Approaches to Gender Archaeology" at the University of Tübingen.

July 4-10, 2022

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