Why is it Christmas in October, you may ask? Because today, the copy of NESAT XI I ordered from The Book Depository finally arrived!
For those of my readers whose costume interests different greatly from mine, NESAT is an acronym. It stands for "North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles". Such a symposium has been held every three years since 1981, and has grown from a tiny event for a few textile specialists into, in the words of co-editor Johanna Banck-Burgess, "an interdisciplinary and international symposium, whose members have significantly contributed to the recognition of textile archaeology in many disciplines concerned with culture history." (page 15)
The parcel I ordered today contains the papers presented at the eleventh such meeting, which was held in Esslingen, Germany in 2011, and a CD-rom containing shorter presentations called "posters". I first became interested in the NESAT volumes when I learned, two decades ago, that many of the papers in those volumes involve archaeological research with a strong bearing upon the history of costume in my period of greatest interest, i.e., before the year 1000 CE in northern Europe. As Ms. Banck-Burgess observes in her Preface, the NESAT now includes articles about finds from all over Europe (there are articles in NESAT XI about finds in Italy and in the Balkans, for example), although the majority of the papers presented and published still involve northern Europe.
In the next few weeks, as I grab precious minutes to read through the articles (and enjoy the CD-rom), I will write brief posts sharing tidbits about the articles that have interested and enlightened me the most. Apologies in advance to those of my readers who have already bought and read this fascinating volume.