As textiles are only seldom and if so, only under specific circumstances, preserved in the archaeological record, the production of textiles has not been researched in many areas and often is only possible by indirect means, such as impressions on pottery or tools. Based on the results from Çukuriçi Höyük, such tools shall be analysed in order to document the earliest stages of textile production.
The manufacturing of textiles is an inseparable part of daily life of every society. Textile production gained this strong relevance already with the earliest human settlements. Due to the problematic preservation of prehistoric textiles, the emergence and early developments of textiles are however a nearly uncharted topic. Therefore the research in prehistoric textile production has to mainly focus upon the indirect evidences: mat impressions on vessels and especially the tools used in manufacturing – spindle whorls, loom weights as well as awls and needles. Analysing such tools can inform us about the used fibres, the type of yarn spun, as well as the type of produced textile and how it was further processed.
This dissertation is focused upon such tool analysis to document – by including archaeozoological and archaeobotanical records – the earliest stages of textile production. The aim is to depict the emergence and developments of different techniques as detailed as possible. The research is based on the data of Çukuriçi Höyük, a tell site dating from the 7th to the 3rd millennium BC. Due to its chronological depth and its geographic location as well as the high quality excavation methods conducted at this site, it forms an ideal base to place this diachronic analysis of prehistoric textile production in Anatolia, the Aegean and neighbouring regions upon. To ensure insights on a large geographical scale, a high number of other sites will be taken into comparison. The results of the dissertation shall provide an understanding of different techniques, working processes as well as the social and cultural impact of textile production starting from the first settlements in the 7th millennium up to the 3rd millennium BC in Anatolia, the Aegean and neighbouring regions.
The Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences constitutes the main workplace (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Barbara Horejs). The Dissertation is situated at the Institute for Prehistory and Historical Archaeology of the University of Vienna (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Michael Doneus).