High-Tech Gold Threads from the Past. Processing gold textile thread and weaving samples

Lorena Ariis

Vortrag auf Einladung des AK Experimentelle Archäologie: 

The thin gold threads, that decorated fine textiles in the past, reveal the high technological level achieved in the creation of micrometric and flexible threads suitable for weaving and embroidery.
How was it possible to make the thread so thin?
Experimentation on the creation of micrometric gold thread requires study of archaeometry, research of sources, cultural aspects and technologies, precise production times and manual skill. The limitations are many: organic and mineral residues, additives and glues are missing or partial. Artisanal knowledge does not appear in ancient sources, even post-medieval ones, nor in iconography; nothing about cutting very thin threads or spinning them. In the cultures of the Far East, the tradition of making gold textile threads has been maintained for centuries; it is possible to find information comparable with archaeological examples, while recognizing cultural and chronological differences compared to the Western and Mediterranean area. This lecture will explain the processing of gold thread and gold leaf to obtain a "textile" thread, which in Roman and Early Medieval Times, was used plain or wrapped in a core of vegetable or animal fiber, such as silk. Samples made from hand-reproduced pre-industrial and industrial threads, in the size of archaeological gold thread, will be shown, revealing the level of 'High-Tech' achieved in ancient technology.

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Meeting-ID: 658 8934 9212
Kenncode: 346101


Hörsaal 7 des Instituts für Urgeschichte und Historische Archäologie
Franz-Klein-Gasse 1
1190 Wien


AK Experimentelle Archäologie
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