As it is well known, the exploitation of raw material finalized to textile production produced deep changes in the relationship with animal and plant resources. The steps and the chronology of this process, however, are not well known in the Aegean. In the Orient, wool fibers used in textile production have been known since Neolithic Aceramic B, but the selection of wool sheep is a long process which starts in the VI millennium and reach its conclusion towards the middle of the IV millennium, with the introduction of a large variety of sheep (RYDER 1983, BRENIQUET 2008). In the Aegean, sheepbreading for wool production is well attested in the II millennium, together with the use of linen, by written, iconographic and osteological evidence (BARBER 1991; TZACHILI 1997), but for the preceding period, the evidence is ambiguous. It is presumed that linen (Neolithic) preceded wool (Bronze Age) (TZACHILI 1997, notwithstanding the evidence for woolen sheep already in the Neolithic), but the evidence is not so clear. Evidence for the use of linen during the IV and III millennia is very scanty and ambiguous, while some indirect hints for wool production can be gathered by faunal remains. They demonstrates often a slaughtering of sheep after 3 years of age, which is commonly considered a proof of breeding aiming at wool production (Wilcken, Masala), but this opinion is not accepted by some scholars (Halstead). The paper presents a review of the evidence from the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods, with special reference to Crete, and a discussion of the new evidence coming from recent soundings but also from old materials in neolithic and Early Bronze Age levels in Phaistos, setting the evidence against the wider framework of the Mediterranean and the Orient.
|Titolo:||Wool production in Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Aegean|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2014|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|