ARCHAEOLOGY OF TEXTILE PRODUCTION IN THE KINGDOM OF MEROE. NEW APPROACHES TO CULTURAL IDENTITY AND ECONOMICS IN ANCIENT SUDAN AND NUBIA.
The TexMeroe project aims to gain a better knowledge of the Sudanese ancient kingdom of Meroe (c. 300 BCE – 550 CE), exploring its social organisation and economic system through the study of textile production. The many well-preserved textiles, tools and costume representations discovered on archaeological sites throughout Sudan and Nubia provide new evidences that shed light on this little- known side of Meroitic history. Their analysis will open new avenues of research encompassing a great range of key issues, from agriculture and manufacturing techniques, to the organisation of labour and trade, and the definition and communication of social status.
The research follows the entire life cycle of the textiles, from raw material collection, to the spinning, dyeing, weaving and sewing of the cloth, all the way through the multiple every day uses and reuses of the fabrics to their final internment. The chosen methodology is first and foremost archaeological, but the project also combines the methods of other fields, such as comparative history, art history, ancient textile studies, material studies, anthropological theory, and archaeobotany.