Skip to main content

Textiles in Southern Etruria. Textile Technology in Central Tyrrheanian Italy from Late Prehistory to the Roman Republican Period

Article Category

Article available in the folowing languages:

Innovative approaches to studying ancient textiles

A study has examined ancient textile production and fibres for an up-to-date and innovative archaeological exploration.


The EU-funded project TEXSET (Textiles in southern Etruria. Textile technology in central Tyrrheanian Italy from Late Prehistory to the Roman Republican Period) specifically examined the development of textile technologies and the use of textile fibres in central-western Italy. The period of the study included that of Late Prehistory (Final Bronze Age, 10th century BC) until the Etruscan period (8th-4th century BC). Main objectives of the work involved studying the spinning and weaving tools of the Etruscan-Italic world. It also consisted of presenting scientific research in innovative and more accessible ways to inform the wider public of the importance of fabric-making activities in the ancient world. Experimental archaeology was combined with an ethnographic approach. Application of new analytical methods for textiles assisted in exploring what signified pre-Etruscan and Etruscan textile tool kits and the range of qualities these tools were able to produce. A vast network was created to bring together museums and catalogue documents with drawings and photographs of textile tools. An experimental programme was launched that aimed to bridge the northern and southern European experimental methodologies. This can help fill gaps in understanding of the long operational chain of textile activities and propose a more comprehensive interpretation of textile tools and technology. TEXSET results have been disseminated in conferences. The work can help enhance understanding of a long period of evolution in textile production and combine archaeology with museum research for new ways to exhibit textile artefacts and tools.


Ancient textile, TEXSET, Italy, textile fibres, Etruscan

Discover other articles in the same domain of application