Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The twelfth North European Symposium of Archaeological Textiles ("NESAT") took place last year in Hallstatt, Austria.  Though to my knowledge the book containing the papers presented at that conference has yet to be published, the table of contents from that volume and several of the papers from it have turned up on  Membership in is free, and is not confined to professional scholars.   

What I'd like to do here is point out some of the currently available material for my readers, so that they can save up for the NESAT XII book if they wish or simply use the material itself if it meets their needs.

The conference program for NESAT XII (68 pages long, with article abstracts) is here, and the table of contents for NESAT XII may be downloaded here.

The papers I have seen from that NESAT volume that are available for free download so far are:

Cybulska, Maria and Mianowska-Orlińska, Ewa.  Analysis, Reconstruction and Interpretation of Two Early Medieval Embroideries from Kruszwica, pp. 311-320.  (This one is posted in Scribd format.  I was able to download it, but I can't recall if I have a Scribd account; if you don't, you may be unable to download/read it.)

Gleba, Margarita.  Production and Consumption: Textile Economy and Urbanization in Mediterranean Europe 1000-500 BCE (PROCON)pp.  261-270.

Nutz, Beatrix. Mining for Textiles -- Textiles for Mining,  Preliminary Report on Textiles from Gold Mining Sites in Austria, pp. 25-42.

The paper that excites me the most, however, is not available for free download.   Predictably, it is about Viking era clothing:  Hana Lukešová.  Old Fragments of Women’s Costumes from the Viking Age – New Method for Identification.  pp. 145-154.  Professor Lukešová's abstract states: 
"The first step in the working method involved a detailed study of the textile fragments. A computer programme for vector drawing was used to assist in the synthesis of complicated finds. The second step was to compare the stains and imprints on the textile fragments with the shape of the metal objects that possible to find a correlation between the textile and the metal. In the third step, a portable XRFspectrometer was used to check the elements present in the stains on the textiles. These were then compared to the element spectrums of the metals that were found close to the textiles."
The abstract states that all of this elaborate pattern-matching has allowed her to create "distinct reconstructions of many of the finds, and to expand the knowledge of the details of women's costumes from the Viking Age in the western Norway region."  I can hardly wait to see what Professor Lukešová has come up with in the way of reconstructions.  (The abstract admits that most of the textile finds come from the chest area, so "the features of complete women's costumes have intentionally been left open").

There are other interesting topics being addressed in this NESAT, including:  Bronze Age tailoring; Chinese silks found in the Merovingian graves in the Saint-Denis Basilica in France; the Dätgen trousers (roughly contemporaneous with the Thorsberg trousers); a reconstruction of a Renaissance era coif found in a Copenhagen moat; and a study of embroidery on Bronze Age costumes from Scandinavia.  Clearly we historical costumers have some excellent research to look forward to and to support our own work.


  1. I'v emailed her to see if she has a PDF yet, but I've not gotten a response. If you read Norwegian, she appears to have published a similar paper that's here

    1. I will check out the PDF you've cited, but I do not read Norwegian other than being able to pick out words for things that interest me such as "kvinna" and "woll".