Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2015

5 May 2016

Ariadnes’s Threads. The Construction and Significance of Clothes in the Aegean Bronze Age

Jones R. Bernice

Ariadnes’s Threads. The Construction and Significance of Clothes in the Aegean Bronze Age

City: Leuven-Lièges

Year: 2015

Publisher: Peeters

Series: Aegaeum 38

Description: Hardback, 312 p., 597 b/w & colour figures, 29.6x20.7


This book is the first to deal comprehensively with the construction, significance, and function of the full range of garments of Aegean women and related attire of men from the Neolithic to the end of the Bronze Age. As valuable as precious metals, a significant commodity of trade, luxurious in design and decoration, Minoan dress rivaled that of its Near Eastern and Egyptian neighbors. Yet, Aegean costumes and textiles have been among the least understood of the major artistic achievements of the Minoan civilization. Since ancient Aegean textiles and garments have not survived, the study collects, analyzes and compiles a typology of the corpus of garments represented in sculpture, frescoes and glyptic to glean evidence for construction. It further considers the manufacturing techniques of extant Egyptian clothes, comparable images of ancient Near Eastern garments, textile manufacture on the warp-weighted loom, and dress documented in Mycenaean Linear B, Greek and Near Eastern texts. The combined evidence is buttressed by experiments in replicating Aegean and related Near Eastern garments as well as the weave structures of patterned cloths and bands. The replicated clothes are arranged on live models who assume the various positions of the clothed figures in the frescoes and sculptures they imitate, thereby bringing the ancient figures to life. This all inclusive study not only illuminates every aspect of Aegean costume, but the resultant understanding of dress and the way it drapes on the body has led to new restorations of the missing parts of fragmentary garments on figural sculptures and wall paintings.


Acknowledgements [ix]
List of Figures [xi]
Introduction [1]

Chapter 1. Beginnings: Palaeolithic and Neolithic
A. Introduction [5]
B. Textile impressions [6]
C. Weaving implements [7]
D. Neolithic figurines [8]
E. Conclusions [10]

Chapter 2. Dress in Early Bronze Age Greece and Prepalatial Crete
A. Textiles, weaving and sewing implements, and attachments 11
B. Decorated anthropomorphic vessels 13
C. The figurines 22
D. Conclusions 25

Chapter 3. Minoan Middle Bronze Age Dresses with Egyptian and Near Eastern Comparanda
A. The Minoan peak-back robe [27]
B. The high-neck (peak-back?) robe [48]
C. The Minoan double-V-necked dress [49]
D. The petaloid loop “garment” [53]
E. Cloaks and wraps [53]

Chapter 4. Late Bronze Age Dresses
A. The Minoan open front dress [57]
B. The Mycenaean tunic with horizontal neckline [143]

Chapter 5. The Flounced Skirt
A. Near Eastern flounced garments and their appearance in Crete [155]
B. The Minoan flounced skirt [168]

Chapter 6. The Flounced Kilt
A. Introduction: the Minoan flounced kilt [178]
B. Experimental replications of the flounced kilt [182]
C. Flounced kilts in Crete from MM IIIB to LM IB [195]
D. The Minoan flounced kilt in Mainland Greece [204]
E. Four Minoan flounced kilts in the Cyclades (Thera) [213]
F. The Minoan flounced kilt outside the Aegean [215]
G. The male kilt [217]
H. Conclusions [220]

Chapter 7. The Side-Pleated Skirt
A. The corpus [227]
B. Dating of the side-pleated skirt [232]
C. Construction of the side-pleated skirt [234]
D. Experimental replications of the side-pleated skirt [234]
E. Conclusions [236]

Chapter 8. The Α-shaped and Hide Skirts
A. Α-shaped skirts [241]
B. Hide skirts [251]

Chapter 9. Accessories
A. Mantles and cloaks [257]
B. Hand-held mantles, shawl [258]
C. Shoulder-fastened mantles [262]
D. Long cloaks [271]
E. Short cloaks [275]
F. Bolero (frontless blouse) [277]
G. Scarves [281]
H. Aprons [283]

Chapter 10. Conclusions [287]

Bibliography 291


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