Joanne Cutler

Crafting Minoanisation: textiles, crafts production and social dynamics in the Bronze Age southern Aegean

The mid second millennium BC material record of the southern Aegean shows evidence of strong Cretan influence. This phenomenon has traditionally been seen in terms of ‘Minoanisation’, but the nature and degree of Cretan influence, and the process/processes by which it was spread and adopted, have been widely debated. My PhD research addresses the question of Minoanisation through a study of the adoption of Cretan technologies in the wider southern Aegean: principally, weaving technology.

By the early Late Bronze Age, Cretan-style discoid loom weights had appeared at a number of settlements across the southern Aegean. In most cases, this represents not only the adoption of a particular type of loom weight, but also the introduction of a new weaving technology: the use of the warp-weighted loom. My research examines the evidence for, and the implications of, the adoption of this new technology. Drawing upon recent advances in textile experimental archaeology, I am analysing textile tool assemblages in order to ascertain the types of textiles that are likely to have been produced at a range of sites both on Crete itself and in the wider southern Aegean, and am assessing the likely nature and scale of textile production at the various settlements.

I am further considering the evidence for the timing and extent of the adoption of Cretan weaving technology in the light of additional evidence for the adoption of other Cretan technologies, in order to gain insight into the social and economic strategies engaged in by various groups across the southern Aegean, as well as the motivations that may have driven the adoption and adaptation of Cretan cultural traits and accompanying behaviours. By examining how technological skills and techniques are learned, and considering possible mechanisms for the transmission of such technical knowledge and know-how, it is possible to propose new perspectives concerning the processes through which Cretan techniques were taken up and imitated abroad.

Funding organisation

  • AHRC

Supervisors

 Educational background

  • BA Archaeology, UCL, 2005
  • MA Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, UCL, 2006

PUBLICATIONS

Cutler, J. (in press). “Ariadne’s Thread: The Adoption of Cretan Weaving Technology in the Wider Southern Aegean in the Mid-Second Millennium BC”. In KOSMOS. Jewellery, Adornment and Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age (Aegaeum 31), edited by M.-L. Nosch and R. Laffineur. Liège: Université de Liège.

Gleba, M. And J. Cutler (in press). “Textile Production in Bronze Age Miletos: First Observations”. In KOSMOS. Jewellery, Adornment and Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age (Aegaeum 31), edited by M.-L. Nosch and R. Laffineur. Liège: Université de Liège.

Cutler, J., E. Andersson Strand, M.-L. Nosch, R. Firth, J.-C. Poursat and F. Rougemont (in press). “Textile Production in Quartier Mu”. In Le Quartier Mu V (Études crétoises), edited by J.-C. Poursat.

Andersson Strand, E., J. Cutler and M-L. Nosch, with further contributors (in press). “Textile Tools and Textile Production: Studies of Selected Bronze Age Sites”. In Tools and Textiles, Texts and Contexts. Textile Production in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean, edited by E. Andersson Strand and M.-L. Nosch.

Gorogianni, E., J. Cutler and R. D. Fitzsimons (in press). “Something Old, Something New: Non-Local Brides as Catalysts for Cultural Exchange at Ayia Irini, Kea?” In Nostoi: Indigenous Culture, Migration and Integration in the Aegean Islands and Western Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age. Proceedings of an International Conference held at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilisations, Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey 31 March – 3 April 2011, edited by N. C. Stampolidis, Ç. Maner and K. Kopanias.

I additionally have a number of other publication projects in progress, including a monograph on the textile tools from Ayia Irini, Kea (in collaboration with Dr Evi Gorogianni, University of Akron) and have primary responsibility for the analysis and publication of the Neopalatial pottery from the Knossos Urban Landscape Project survey (project directors, Professor Todd Whitelaw, UCL, and Dr Andonis Vassilakis, Greek Archaeological Service).

CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS

University of Copenhagen, Denmark, April 2010. 13th International Aegean Conference KOSMOS: Jewellery, Adornment and Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age, “Ariadne’s Thread: The Adoption of Cretan Weaving Technology in the Wider Southern Aegean in the Mid-Second Millennium BC”.

University of Copenhagen, Denmark, April 2010. 13th International Aegean Conference KOSMOS: Jewellery, Adornment and Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age, “Textile Production in Bronze Age Miletos: First Observations”. (Paper co-authored with M. Gleba).

University of the Peloponnese, Kalamata, Greece, March 2011. Technical and Social Aspects of Roman Dress conference, “Textile Tools, Textiles and Production in the Ancient Mediterranean”. (Paper co-authored with E. Andersson Strand).

Research Centre for Anatolian Studies, Istanbul, March 2011. Nostoi: Indigenous Culture, Migration and Integration in the Aegean Islands and Western Anatolia during the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age conference, “Weaving a Pan-Aegean Fabric: Travelling Brides as Agents of Cultural Exchange in the Late Bronze Age Aegean?”. (Paper co-authored with E. Gorogianni and R. D. Fitzsimons).

11th International Cretological Congress, Rethymnon, 21-27 October 2011. “Textile Production at Three Middle Minoan Centres” (Paper co-authored with E. Andersson Strand).


Bookmark and Share
editprofile.gif