Institute of Archaeology

Textile Archaeology

The course aims to provide students with the fundamental understanding of textile technology and production. This includes an introduction to textile preservation conditions in diverse archaeological contexts and basics of textile conservation; an overview of raw materials and their various properties; basics of technological processes involved in the chaîne opératoire of textile production, including raw material procurement and preparation, spinning, weaving, finishing and dyeing; critical assessment of traditional and novel analytical methods used in textile studies; understanding of textile tools; consideration of economic, social and gender aspects of textile use and production. Specific examples of archaeological material from various cultures will be used to illustrate the topics addressed in class, with a particular focus on Europe and the Near East.


This module will introduce students to a wide range of techniques and approaches used in textile studies. More specifically the module aims:

  • To introduce students to the technology of textile production focusing on archaeological examples from European and Near Eastern sites.
  • To provide an overview of the various methods available for archaeological textile studies and the data they may provide.
  • To explore economic, social and gender aspects of textile production, use and trade.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students should be able to have developed:

  • critical evaluation skills
  • observation skills and basic understanding of textile analysis
  • oral presentation skills
  • and demonstrated application of acquired knowledge and critical thinking through a presentation in a seminar, an essay and a practical project.

Teaching Methods

The course will include lectures and seminars. Lectures will cover the first half of the term. In the second half of the term, students will be asked to present their practical projects in a seminar format. Voluntary practicals, tutorials and gallery visits may be arranged depending on numbers and individual student needs.

Course information

  • Code: ARCLG223
  • Credits: 15
  • Coordinator: Margarita Gleba
  • Prerequisite: This course does not have a prerequisite
  • Handbook: open»

For registered students

  • Moodle page open»
  • Reading list:


  • Not running in 2015-16

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