Tapestries in the Bronze and early Iron Ages of the Ancient Near East

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Smith, J. S. 2013 “Tapestries in the Bronze and early Iron Ages of the Ancient Near East,” pp. 159–186 in M.-L. Nosch, H. Koefoed, and E. Andersson Strand eds., Textile Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East: Archaeology, Epigraphy,
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  This pdf of your paper in Textile Production and Consumption in the  Ancient Near East belongs to the publishers Oxbow Books and it is their copyright. As author you are licenced to make up to 50 oprints from it, but beyond that you may not publish it on the World Wide Web until three years from publication (October 2015), unless the site is a limited access intranet (password protected). If you have queries about this please contact the editorial department at Oxbow Books (editorial@oxbowbooks.com).   An Offprint of  TEXTILE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION IN THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST ARCHAEOLOGY, EPIGRAPHY, ICONOGRAPHY edited by M.-L. Nosch, H. Koefoedand E. Andersson Strand ISBN 9781842174890 ©  Oxbow Books www.oxbowbooks.com ANCIENT TEXTILES SERIES VOL. 12  Contents  Introduction: Archaeology, Epigraphy, Iconography  by Henriette Koefoed, Eva Andersson Strand and Marie-Louise Nosch  .................................................v 1 Functions and Uses of Textiles in the Ancient Near East. Summary and Perspectives  by Catherine Breniquet .............................................................................................................................................. 1 2 The Emergence of the Ghassulian Textile Industry in the Southern Levant Chalcolithic Period (c. 4500–3900 BCE) by Janet Levy and Isaac Gilead ............................................................................................................................. 26 3 Textile Production in Palatial and Non-Palatial Contexts: the Case of Tel Kabri by Nurith Goshen, Assaf Yasur-Landau and Eric H. Cline ............................................................................. 45  4 Textiles, Value, and the Early Economies of North Syria and Anatolia by David R. A. Lumb ................................................................................................................................................ 54 5 Technology and Palace Economy in Middle Bronze Age Anatolia: the Case of the Crescent Shaped Loom Weight by Agnete Wisti Lassen ........................................................................................................................................... 78  6 Her Share of the Prots: Women, Agency, and Textile Production at Kültepe/Kanesh in the Early Second Millennium BC by Allison Karmel Thomason................................................................................................................................. 93 7 Visualising Ancient Textiles – how to make a Textile Visible on the Basis of an Interpretation of an Ur III Text by Eva Andersson Strand and Maria Cybulska ............................................................................................... 113  8 The Costumes of Inanna/Ishtar by Bernice Jones ...................................................................................................................................................... 128 9 Considering the Finishing of Textiles based on Neo-Sumerian Inscriptions from Girsu by Richard Firth ..................................................................................................................................................... 14010 Tapestries in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages of the Ancient Near East by Joanna S. Smith ................................................................................................................................................. 161  Contents iv11. Spinning from old Threads: The Whorls from Ugarit at the Musée d’Archéologie Nationale (Saint-Germain-en-Laye) and at the Louvre  by Caroline Sauvage ............................................................................................................................................. 18912 Throwing the Baby Out with the Bathwater: Innovations in Mediterranean Textile Production at the End of the 2nd/Beginning of the 1st Millennium BCE by Laura B. Mazow ............................................................................................................................................... 21513 Textile Production and Consumption in the Neo-Assyrian Empire by Salvatore Gaspa ............................................................................................................................................... 224  10. Tapestries in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages of the Ancient Near East  Joanna S. Smith The broad category of textiles encompasses a diverse group of artistic techniques and nished products. The narrower category of multicoloured textiles includes decorated cloth created by weaving, braiding, sewing, embroidery, painting, and dyeing. This paper explores the multicoloured weaving technique of tapestry used to make cloth for clothing, furniture covers, wall hangings, and other objects. In the Bronze and early Iron Ages of the ancient Near East, tapestry woven cloth was nearly synonymous with royalty. With their potential to be large and elaborately decorated, not only did tapestries form parts of clothing, but also tapestry cloths became portable elements of interior design that could create spaces of prestige wherever their owners might have needed them. Still, even though most consumers of tapestry were rulers or those closely associated with them, tapestry weaving did not necessarily take place in a royal context. Furthermore, evidence for several approaches to the manufacture, design, and use of tapestry-woven cloth suggests that tapestry weaving did not follow one unbroken tradition, passed down from weaver to weaver, generation after generation, and across the Near East, Egypt, and the eastern Mediterranean. For example, tapestry in antiquity was often made with colourful woollen bres, wool being a bre that held dye well. However, all surviving tapestry woven textiles for the period under study were found in Egypt and were created with coloured linen bres, sometimes touched up with paint. The multiple forms of tapestry production are best understood with respect to the power that their consumers wished to convey, especially the kings of northern Mesopotamia and Egypt. Tapestry in the Bronze and early Iron Ages The word tapestry brings to mind the large full eld designs of Europe in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. 1  The tapestry technique involves weaving patterns and gural designs to create solid elds of colour on both sides of the fabric. The nished product is at and double-sided; asymmetrical designs will appear in reverse on the opposite side. The weft strands in tapestry outnumber the warp bres. Typically the wefts are beaten in so that they are closely set; the 1  Campbell 2002; Phillips 1994; Cavallo 1998.
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