Monday, February 21, 2022

Archaeological Textiles Review No. 63

At the beginning of this month, Issue No. 63 of ATR, i.e., the 2021 issue of the Archaeological Textiles Review (formerly Archaeological Textiles Newsletter, or ATN) was made available for free download.  ATR is published by the Friends of ATN, and hosted by the Centre for Textile Research in Copenhagen.

As always, ATR has excellent professional research articles on clothing, textile, and related finds and research.  The subject matter of its articles ranges throughout history and prehistory and is worldwide in scope.  They consider themselves an "open source" journal and for years have made all of their back issues available, all the way back to ATN No. 1, here; just look at the left-hand side bar and select the link for "Download issue".  

But I'm writing about ATR again now because their latest issue has an amazing number of articles about Viking age textiles and/or clothing, and I thought that those of my readers interested in Viking age clothing would be interested in reading them.  Here is the list, complete with the page in the current ATR issue on which each article starts.  Judge for yourself.   All articles in ATR come with bibliographies that are a gold mine for further research.

Julia Hopkin.  Raincoats or riches? Contextualising vararfeldir through multi-perspective experiments. (Page 31)  The article describes the author's physical experiments involving making samples of different types of fabric, including vararfeldir, the shaggy "fake fur" exported by early Iceland, in an attempt to gain insight as to what qualities of vararfeldir made it valuable and desirable during the late Viking age.

Vedeler, Marianne. Golden textiles from Gokstad. (Page 47)  The author describes early textiles woven with precious metal thread, including two textiles found in the hollowed-out ridgepole of the burial chamber of the Gokstad Ship.

Jørgensen, Lise Bender, Moe, Dagfinn and Lukesova, Hana.  Viking Age textiles and tapestries: drawings by Miranda Bødtker. (Page 58)   Miranda Bødtker worked for many decades making technical drawings for botanists, zoologists and archaeologists at the Bergen Museum in Norway.  The article gives a brief account of her life (she passed away in 1996 at the age of 100!) along with excellent photographs of some of her drawings and of the textiles they depict.

Mannering, Ulla.  Fashioning the Viking Age: status after the first three years. (Page 138)  Parts one and two of this project were concluded in 2021, and the article summarizes the results.  They include full color photographs of two reconstructed outfits:  a man's outfit based upon the Bjerringhøj grave find, and a woman's outfit based upon the Hvilehøj grave find.  

For readers whose clothing interests predate the Viking age, the following articles may be of interest as well.

Nørgård, Anna.  Reconstructions revived:  a handweaver's personal perspective. (Page 90) A long, well-illustrated essay about well-known reconstructions of ancient Scandinavian clothing by a woman personally responsible for many of them.  With good photographic and sketch illustrations.

Grömer, Karina, Ungerechts, Silvia and Reschreiter, Hans.  Knowledge sharing:  a newly found 2,700-year-old tablet-woven band from Hallstatt, Austria.  (Page 115)  The article describes a newly-discovered tablet woven band, and provides a weaving diagram, in full color!  The band itself is depicted on the cover of Issue No. 63, and a color photograph of the reconstructed band appears in the article.  

Grömer, Karina, Saunderson, Kayleigh and Pomberger, Beate Maria.  Metallic idiophones 800 BCE to 800 CE in Central Europe:  their function and acoustic influence in daily life. (Page 129) "Metallic idiophones" are metal ornaments fastened to clothing that make noise by jingling, rattling, or clinking.  This article discusses some of them and discusses ways to discover how they sounded when worn.  Well-illustrated with color photographs, sketches, and graphs.



  1. A museum catalog? Swoons. I'll bet shipping is prohibitive, though! :-(

    I cannot wait for this years reports. There have been 2 Brand Spanking New finds in the last 12-18 months of embroidered finds. IIRC, one from Hathabu and the other from Norway. In one of the finds, the textile fragments (like oh, so many of them) are "embedded" in a block with a brooch!

  2. Wow, I hadn't heard of the Haithabu or Norwegian finds? What are the site names?