• Margarita Gleba
  • Honorary Senior Research Associate
  • m.gleba@ucl.ac.uk
  • UCL Institute of Archaeology, 31-34 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PY UK

Margarita Gleba

Research Interests:

  • Archaeological textiles and technological, economic and social aspects of textile production in antiquity
  • The use of natural science methods in archaeology
  • Early Iron Age and the Orientalising period in the Mediterranean, connections with the Near East
  • Archaeology of Etruscan and pre-Roman Italy
  • Archaeology of Northern Black Sea area and Scythian culture

Research Directory Records

Previous Research Projects

  • 2007- present Spokesperson for Study Group E, Dress and Identity

Project funded by the Culture Programme of the European Union (http://www.dressid.eu) The main objectives of the DressID project are to provide a position in cultural history for clothing and textiles in antiquity, and to demonstrate how clothing is a key to identity studies. The aim of the interdisciplinary collaboration is to strengthen the networks and exchange of knowledge and ideas of European scholars and combine various scientific traditions in Europe. The research is organised as a network of study groups, each headed by two spokespersons who are in charge of communication and organisation of the research within specific fields. Study group E focuses on the technological development in textile production and its influence on the Roman economic structures. As part of its activities an interdisciplinary workshop was held in 2009, which will lay groundwork for a publication of a handbook on identity of producers and traders in the Graeco-Roman world.

  • 2005-present Principal Investigator, Study of textile implements at Miletos, Turkey (Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany)

Miletos had a reputation for its wool products in Classical times but textile production on the site was already developed during the Bronze Age. The study of over 3000 loom weights and spindle whorls excavated at the site during the last 100 years focuses on tracing the development of textile production at Miletos.

The aim of the research programme is to examine the extraordinary collection of completely preserved textile and skin costumes from Denmark, dated to Bronze and Early Iron Age, using modern scientific methods, and to create new international reference standards for these finds. The long-term goal is to set new textile research standards, and to explore and communicate the new knowledge acquired during the process.

The project analyses and evaluates the parameters for and the impact on society of the development of textile production in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean. In particular, the aim is to reveal how tools and technology developed to meet the new demands. Textile tools from over 40 sites in Greece, Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Israel are recorded in a specially designed database to be analysed from a functional point of view.

  • 2004-2007 Assistant Director, American-Ukrainian Scythian Kurhan Project (Florida State University, USA and Institute of Archaeology of Ukraine)

The international project involved re-excavation Oleksandropil, one of five Royal Scythian kurhans, in south-central Ukraine. The burial mound was one of largest kurhans ever constructed and was the first kurhan to be partially excavated in 1854 (material currently in the Hermitage) and the finds from this mound have laid foundations for Scythian chronology. The work in the project has focused on defining the topography of the mound and the excavations yielded over 10,000 fragments of transport amphorae and other material, which are currently being studied. Preliminary results indicate that the chronology of this kurhan and therefore Scythian chronology in generak must be re-evaluated in light of these new finds.

  • 2002-2006 Associate Director, Poggio delle Civitelle, San Venanzo, Italy (Florida State University, USA)

The excavations of the site of Poggio delle Civitelle, located between Orvieto and Perugia, were carried out in order to understand the organisation of the territory of Etruscan city of Volsinii (modern Orvieto). The architectural remains, rich finds and the extended period of occupation of the site (from the Final Bronze Age to the 4th century AD) indicate that it was an outpost of Volsinii in Etruscan times but came under the influence of Tuder (modern Todi) in the Tiber valley during Roman period.

Professional History

  • 2009-2011 Marie Curie Research Fellow, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, UK
  • 2009 Lecturer, Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2005-2009 Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Project Manager, Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2005 Part-time Lecturer, Department of Classics, Rutgers University, USA

Educational Background

  • 2004 PhD, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College, USA
  • 1999 MA, Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, Bryn Mawr College, USA
  • 1997 BS, biology and art history, High Honors, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, USA

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