Rethinking Iron Age loom weights in the Netherlands

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Rethinking Iron Age loom weights in the Netherlands

Type: Master thesis
Title: Rethinking Iron Age loom weights in the Netherlands
Author: Linden, Daphne van der
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: Loom Weight
Iron Age
Abstract: Loom weights have been found all over the world and there are clear regional distinctions in shape and size, but a few types like conical weights seem to be used repeatedly in most regions. In the European Iron Age, a new type of loom weight is introduced with a flat triangular shape and perforations through the corners and often through the centre of the weight. The introduction of this new type of weight is reason for a big discussion. The generally accepted hypothesis on the function of triangular loom weights comes from Loewe (1971, 35, footnote 66), in which he describes how the triangular weights with three perforations were used to secure a bundle of warp threads, making it easier to fabricate longer pieces of textile and rolling the textile up for storing purposes. This presumably gave the triangular weights an advantage over the earlier conical and pyramidal weights. However, some archaeologists disapprove of this assessment of function, they presume a function as net sinker or spanner for hides is more likable. The research of this thesis shows that these objects show a large number of characteristics that are purely necessary for the function as loom weight. Therefore, a primary function as loom weight is accepted.
Supervisor: Fokkens, Harry
Faculty: Faculty of Archaeology
Department: Archaeology (Master)
ECTS Credits: 20

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