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  • Edition: 00
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 1995-09-17
  • Publisher: W W NORTON

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New discoveries about the textile arts reveal women's unexpectedly influential role in ancient societies. Twenty thousand years ago, women were making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibers. In fact, right up to the Industrial Revolution the fiber arts were an enormous economic force, belonging primarily to women. Despite the great toil required in making cloth and clothing, most books on ancient history and economics have no information on them. Much of this gap results from the extreme perishability of what women produced, but it seems clear that until now descriptions of prehistoric and early historic cultures have omitted virtually half the picture. Elizabeth Wayland Barber has drawn from data gathered by the most sophisticated new archaeological methods'”methods she herself helped to fashion. In a "brilliantly original book" (Katha Pollitt, Washington Post Book World ), she argues that women were a powerful economic force in the ancient world, with their own industry: fabric.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 11
Introductionp. 17
A Tradition with a Reasonp. 29
The String Revolutionp. 42
Courtyard Sisterhoodp. 71
Island Feverp. 101
More Than Hearts on Our Sleevesp. 127
Elements or the Codep. 147
Cloth for the Caravansp. 164
Land of Linenp. 185
The Golden Spindlep. 207
Behind the Mythsp. 232
Plain or Fancy, New or Tried and Truep. 257
Postscript: Finding the Invisiblep. 286
Sourcesp. 306
Indexp. 323
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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