Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean


From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry


Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean :
From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry

edited by Catherine Breniquet & Cécile Michel

Ancient Textile Series vol. 17
Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2014


Mesopotamia in the late 3rd millennium BC is known as the land of wool. Indeed, local socio-economic developments and improvements in techniques for the manufacture of woollen threads and fabrics led to increased production. Large-scale factories began to produce fabrics and clothing in unprecedented quantities. This situation radically altered the natural environment, the political landscape, and international trade networks. The twenty-two chapters in the present volume analyze the impact of wool in the ancient Near East and the Aegean. They focus on the various aspects of wool production and its economic uses through an interdisciplinary approach : archaeology, philology, history, archaeozoology, and experimental archaeology.


Table of contents

  • Foreword and Acknowledgements (v-viii)
  • Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean
    Catherine Breniquet and Cécile Michel (1-11)
  • 1 Bronze and Iron Age Wools in Europe
    Antoinette Rast-Eicher (12-21)
  • 2 The Expansion of Sheep Herding and the Development of Wool Production in the Ancient Near East : An Archaeozoological and Iconographical Approach
    Emmanuelle Vila and Daniel Helmer (22-40)
  • 3 Sheep, Wool and Textile Production. An Interdisciplinary Approach
    to the Complexity of Wool Working
    Eva Andersson Strand (41-51)
  • 4 The Archaeology of Wool in Early Mesopotamia : Sources, Methods, Perspectives
    Catherine Breniquet (52-78)
  • 5 Lambs of the Gods. The Beginnings of the Wool Economy in Proto-Cuneiform Texts
    Petr Charvát (79-93)
  • 6 The Value of Wool in Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia. On the Control of Sheep and the Handling of Wool in the Presargonic to the Ur III Periods (c. 2400 to 2000 BC)
    Walther Sallaberger (94-114)
  • 7 Wool in the Economy of Sargonic Mesopotamia
    Benjamin Foster (115-123)
  • 8 From Weighing Wool to Weaving Tools. Textile Manufacture at Ebla
    during the Early Syrian Period in the Light of Archeaological Evidence
    Luca Peyronel (124-138))
  • 9 Some Aspects of the Wool Economy at Ebla (Syria, 24th Century BC)
    Maria Giovanna Biga (139-150)
  • 10 Making Textiles at Arslantepe, Turkey, in the 4th and 3rd Millennia BC.
    Archaeological Data and Experimental Archaeology
    Romina Laurito, Cristina Lemorini and Assunta Perilli (151-168)
  • 11 Wool Economy in the Royal Archive of Mari during the Šakkanakku Period
    Laurent Colonna d’Istria (169-201)
  • 12 All Wool and a Yard Wide. Wool Production and Trade in the Old Babylonian Sippar
    Katrien De Graef (202-231)
  • 13 Wool Trade in Upper Mesopotamia and Syria According to Old Babylonian and Old Assyrian Texts
    Cécile Michel (232-254)
  • 14 Wool in Anatolia in the Old Assyrian Period
    Agnete Wisti Lassen (255-263)
  • 15 Wool Economy in Minoan Crete before Linear B. A Minimalist Position
    Pietro Militello (264-282)
  • 16 Wool in the Nuzi Texts
    Philippe Abrahami (283-309)
  • 17 Wool Production and Economy at Ugarit
    Valérie Matoïan and Juan-Pablo Vita, with a contribution by Étienne Bordreuil (310-339)
  • 18 Sheep Rearing, Wool Production and Management in Mycenaean
    Written Documents
    Françoise Rougemont (340-370)
  • 19 Mycenaean Wool Economies in the Latter Part of the 2nd Millennium BC Aegean
    Marie-Louise Nosch (371-400)
  • 20 Wool, Hair and Textiles in Assyria
    Nicholas Postgate (401-428)
  • 21 “If you have a sheep, you have all you need”. Sheep Husbandry and Wool in the Economy of the Neo-Babylonian Ebabbar Temple at Sippar
    Stefan Zawadzki (429-453)
  • 22 Fabrics and Clothes from Mesopotamia during the Achaemenid
    and Seleucid Periods : the Textual References
    Francis Joannès (454-463)

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