Micro-Tracing British Bronze Age Textiles (2200-900 BC)

Dr Susanna Harris

Micro-Tracing British Bronze Age Textiles (2200-900 BC) is an archaeological research project to discover Bronze Age textiles in museum collections. Preserved on metals and in special environments, these rare fragments are the earliest tangible evidence for woven textiles in Britain.

Through the application of scientific techniques of digital imaging, light and scanning electron microscopy, Dr Susanna Harris, Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, will measure, identify and analyse the textiles.

The Micro-Tracing results will help answer questions about the development of weaving technology, the quality of textiles, and the role of textiles in Bronze Age social life.

Publication from this project:
Harris, S. (2019) The challenge of textiles in early bronze age burials: fragments of magnificence. In: Sabatini, S. and Bergerbrant, S. (eds.) The Textile Revolution in Bronze Age Europe. Cambridge University Press, pp. 154-196. ISBN 9781108493598

This project is funded by The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland (RIG project 70585).

From left: Bronze Age dagger with preserved textile; Scanning electron micrograph of Bronze Age wool fibres; Structural view of Bronze Age textiles; Dr Susanna Harris examining textiles on Bronze Age metalwork (All Images © S. Harris; images 1 & 4  courtesy of West Berkshire Museum).