Camel caravan

Camel caravan
Mosaic from Deir al-Adas, Syria, 8th century (photo: J.C.Meyer)
The research project Mechanisms of cross-cultural interaction: Networks in the Roman Near East (2013-2016) investigates the resilient everyday ties, such as trade, religion and power, connecting people within and across fluctuating imperial borders in the Near East in the Roman Period. The project is funded under the Research Council of Norway's SAMKUL initiative, and hosted by the Department of archaeology, history, cultural studies and religion, University of Bergen, Norway.

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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Textiles and networks


Just back from Marburg in Germany, where I attended a great conference on Textile Trade and Distribution in Antiquity. The organizers from the Seminar für Alte Geschichte at Phillips Universität Marburg had gathered around 30 scholars from archaeology, history, philology, conservation and natural sciences with a common interest in textiles.

Textiles are historically important for several reasons. They represent a basic human need, but are also powerful markers of status and wealth. With light weight and high value, textiles were among the goods traded over long distances in the ancient world, despite high taxes and transport costs. When studying how textiles moved and changed hands, we tend to emphasize trade, but textiles were subject to processes such as gift-exchange, tribute, taxation and plunder, thus being important objects of redistributions. In that respect they are also very relevant to the networks studied in the NeRoNE project.

The organizers promise to publish the proceedings of the conference promptly. Meanwhile, a thorough summary by Teresa Traupe and Louisa Thomas can be viewed here.