PROduction and CONsumption: Textile Economy and Urbanisation in Mediterranean Europe 1000-500 BCE

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Starting Grant (StG), SH6, ERC-2012-StG

Project acronym: PROCON

Project: PROduction and CONsumption: Textile Economy and Urbanisation in Mediterranean Europe 1000-500 BCE

Researcher (PI): Margarita Gleba

Host Institution (HI): The University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

Start date: 2013-04-01, End date: 2018-03-31

Summary: «A textile is not simply a system of spun, twisted, or spliced fibres, but first and foremost a result of complex interactions between resources, technology, and society. Textile production and consumption is both ubiquitous and multi-faceted since, after food and shelter, textiles constitute the next most important necessity for people in all societies. Far from being a minor material, the production and consumption of textiles is at the heart of fundamental shifts in economy, trade and social relationships. In the ancient past, textile production was an economic necessity which has confronted all societies and carried particular importance in the growth of urbanism and state formation. The aim of the project PROCON is to investigate the role of textiles in the urbanisation and state formation of Mediterranean Europe (Greece, Italy, Spain) from 1000 to 500 BC and to demonstrate that textile production and consumption were a significant driving force of the economy and in the creation and perception of wealth. The focus is on the importance of the production and consumption of textiles for the development of city-states (as clothing, elite regalia, trade and exchange items, utilitarian textiles such as sails) and the implications of this for other aspects of the economy, such as the use of farm land, labour resources and the development of urban lifestyles. This interdisciplinary project is unique in that it takes developments in a relatively specialist research field (textile archaeology) and applies them towards modelling the dynamics behind a broader question of urbanisation in Mediterranean Europe. Using established and novel approaches, the project results will transform the landscape of Early Iron Age European research by providing new data sets, demonstrating textile production and consumption as major economic and social factors behind urbanism. In historical context, the PROCON project continues the European excellence in the field of textile research.»

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