Beyond Cloth and Cordage: Archaeological Textile Research in the Americas

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Penelope B. Drooker, Laurie D. Webster
University of Utah Press, 2000 - Social Science - 339 pages
In recent years, archaeological textile research has undergone a major expansion in scope. Once primarily concerned with the simple description of fabrics, basketry, and cordage, textile researchers now routinely employ these highly perishable artifacts as windows into ancient cultural systems, using theoretical modeling, stylistic and structural analysis, and cutting-edge analytical technology to explore issues of production, exchange, ethnic identity, and social status.

Beyond Cloth and Cordage is an overview of current research on New World archaeological fabrics. It demonstrates that textile data is a unique means of addressing questions of broad anthropological interest, as well as problems difficult if not impossible to resolve by other means.

Contributing authors include senior experts and others whose work is breaking new ground in a variety of topics. Encompassing both method and theory, these include the recovery and care of textile remains, microanalytical methods, models of production and exchange, and inferences regarding social status, behavior, and ethnicity. The broad geographical scope includes case studies from northeastern North America, the Great Basin, the American Southwest, Mesoamerica, and Andean South America.

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Handling Archaeological Textile Remains in the Field and Laboratory
Microanalytical Methods for Studying Prehistoric Textile Fibers
Production Function Semiotics

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About the author (2000)

Drooker is curator of anthropology at the New York State Museum.

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