elessa: (letter E)
The last two days I have been sewing a kamiz/underdress/chemise out of a lightweight white linen. I have been in a state of wonderment as i have been working with this simple fabric made from flax fibers.

It is a textile which has been found in excavations in turkey at Çatalhöyük, samples of which have been dated to over ten thousand years ago.

Flax fibers have also been found in Dzudzuana cave in the foothills of Caucasus, Georgia. as of this past September they have been dated to approximately thirty thousand years ago in an article in the publication, Science.

As I have played with the scraps of the fabric I think of its use in clothing and bindings over the millenia.

I think of the wrappings on the mummies in Egypt. I think of the undertunics for the vikings. i think of the chemises beneath the opulent gowns and the ruffed collars of Elizabethan England or the merchants of Venice.

I know you are thinking I am a dweeb due to being a costumer. I have sewn clothing with dyed linen before. But, for some reason this particular weight and its white colour is really giving me a sense of connection to those who have come before.

So yeah, here we are in the twenty first century surrounded by advanced technology which has given us space stations, computers and automobiles, and synthetic fabrics like nylon, tyvek, carbon fiber and acetate, but yet we continue to use a textile from thirty thousand years ago.

Simple things amaze me.
elessa: (trees)
Evidence for Asherah*

Asherah has appeared paired with Yahweh in positive ways. Furthermore, the early eighth century BCE prophets do not condemn Asherah worship. The worship of Asherah was evidently acceptable before the Deuteronomistic reform movement gained momentum in the seventh century BCE, but since the text of the Bible was significantly composed or edited by the Deuteronomistic school or even later, this fact is not immediately apparent.


by Judith M. Hadley
Department of Theology & Religious Studies
Villanova University
December 2008
elessa: (Default)
for the past ten or so years there has been talk of global warming. the term has been rephrased by the media to now be "climate change". (you know, kinda like "anti-abortion" becoming "pro-life".)

there are articles and news stories frequently discussing the warming temperatures in the polar regions which are now melting.

um, i seem to remember from my history and science classes back in the dark ages that there used to be glaciers which covered most of the northern hemisphere. here in north america the glacier covered all of canada and much of the midwest during the pleistocene era aka "the ice age".


it seems to me there had to be some "global warming/climate change" in order for the glacier to melt 11,000 years ago.

this process has been going on for millenia. last night i read a news article on one of the swiss news sites regarding some finds in the swiss alps. remember otzi, the iceman discovered in the alps in 1991? well, there have been continued expeditions into the alps on both sides to try to locate additional finds.

on the swiss side there have been a few hundred artifacts discovered from the neolithic age, the bronze age, the roman age, and the medieval age. there are gaps of hundreds and thousands of years between the finds. why? how about the passes have been unpassable due to snow and ice, which then melts enabling people to use them. currently there is a melt allowing archaeologists to comb the passes for artifacts. they have found some pretty bitchin' things. some of which are 1,000 years older than otzi.

there is a natural cycle to the warming and the cooling of temps on this planet. science has determined that the planet has continually had periods where it is covered in ice and periods where it is not. are we responsible for the current rate of warming? possibly.

i think people are forgetting history. we need to adapt to the changes. we also should continue to endeavour to keep it green and lower the pollution levels.
elessa: (letter E)
An international workshop
Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference
Stanford, Archaeology Center, 1st ? 3rd May 2009
http://archaeology.stanford.edu/TAG2009

According to David Batchelor's "Chromophobia" color, though bound up with the fate of culture has been systematically marginalized and degraded in academic studies. Color would not easily fit into current intellectual debates on social constructs, has become increasingly anti-disciplinary. On the other hand, anthropologists, archaeologists, conservation specialists and philosophers have increasingly realized that pigments and dyes constitute an integral part of the environment of both, early and modern societies (e.g. G. Jones and A. MacGregor, "Colouring the Past: the Significance of Colour in Archaeological Research". Oxford 2001).

The workshop and subsequent edited volume will gather scholars from various academic disciplines in order to discuss the need for theoretical frameworks when integrating color in material culture studies. How does our current thinking about color reflect and prejudice our understanding of the past and present? Is color a useful tool to reconstruct patterns of identity, interaction and influence? How is color detectable in the material record and how far do colors and colored artifacts materialize voices? The workshop seeks to explore a wide range of current approaches to color, and demonstrate how results achieved through interdisciplinary research can form an integrative part of general science. Papers (c. 20 mins) illustrating research methodologies and considering the role of color in material culture are very welcome and are not limited to period or region. Please send a title and abstracts (max. 400 words) by November 14th 2008 to Alexander Nagel, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - aleos AT umich.edu.


this is something to keep an eye on. too many people are unaware or do not acknowledge there was colour in use in all aspects of ancient life. this includes fabrics for clothing. not everyone was wearing natural coloured or white fabric. i suspect there will be papers submitted which will include methods for determining pigments and dyes used to colour fabric.

polychrome was also used on statuary. statues were not marble white in antiquity. they were brightly painted as you can see from this slideshow from the recent "gods in color: painted sculpture of antiquity" exhibit.

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