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A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:53 pm
by carraig
Hey there, folks!

Lately I've been pondering on the subject seen in the topic title, namely - what clothes did Bronze Age people of Europe wear.
The only stuff I came upon are some Hallstatt depictions of tunic-clad warriors, plus an extant outfit from, if I remember things correct, the territory of modern Netherlands, consisting of a knee-lenght tunic suspended by shoulder straps, a cloak and a simple cap, I think these were pieces of male garb (unfortunately I don't have any decent photos). Perhaps someone found more depictions or knows anything about other extant clothes?

Another thing is colours. Were those clothes dyed (namely, did any research on extant fabrics show any use of dyes)?

I'd be grateful for any help.

Cheers,

Phil

Re: A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 10:14 am
by Bandraoi
I think John has a pic of a recreation bronze age kit in his gallery...? The_power, it's the turquoisey blue get up. He'll undoubtedly have sources for that!

Good luck

Re: A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 11:37 am
by the_power
You can see my ropey interpretation here (as well as some others); http://picasaweb.google.com/john.looney ... ugust2008#

I don't know about Dyes; all we have to go on is bog clothes, but it seems they were mainly undyed, or dyed without mordants with minerals & plant extracts (think ochre/rust, and washed out colours). It's not my area of speciality, I've only looked at the irish & danish bog bodies, hopefully Billy or Dave will stick their heads in & help out.

John

Re: A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:54 pm
by Billy
Seems that western and northern European Bronze Age sheep were of the brown, tan, grey and black variety. White sheep did not come into existence here until the Iron Age. This suggests that they didn't dye their cloth, or if they did, it was darker dye than the wool itself. Of the cloth that has been found from this period, there is no evidence I know of that suggests dyeing. So brown, grey, tan or black for colours.

The best evidence for clothing from this part of the world is to be found in a book called 'The Mound People' by P.V. Glob. It can be bought online for relatively cheap, or try your local library. It describes the clothing found in Bronze Age Denmark, which is the closest extant collection of clothing from this period. The bodies were preserved in oak coffins in waterlogged mounds, and were wearing woolen cloaks, tunics, skirts, hats and shoes, as well as accessories, jewelery and weapons.

The clothing in John's photos is relatively representational of what BA men might have been wearing, at least in Denmark at any rate. it's the best we have to go on with current evidence.John's cloth is a little on the blue side of grey, but passes muster anyway.

Hope this helps.

Billy.

Re: A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:29 am
by vlasta
Some info on Nordic Bronze Age clothes can be found in The Cambridge History of Western Textiles, click here. As the page 57 is not a part of the book preview, here's the quote:
"To start with the Danish textile material from the Bronze Age: some 150 graves with textile remains have been recorded, among them seven with totally preserved costumes (Ills.1.21and 1.22) and a further small number of incomplete ones consisting of single garments, including cloaks and caps. To this group can be added a large number of small fragments, which constitute most of the Danish finds. Some twenty other finds from southern Sweden and south-eastern Norway and another score of finds from Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg in northern Germany are very homogeneous and belong to the same cultural entity, consisting of southern Scandinavia and northern Europe, called the nordischer Kreis.
The common features of Nordic Bronze Age textiles are that they are all coarse tabbies, normally with three to six threads per cm, and are made of a primitive wool, which is very similar to the wool of the wild mouflon. In some instances, wool can be seen to have been prepared in some way, for example, the coarse kemps, which are one of the characteristic features of primitive wool, may have..."

And here is a nice reconstruction of a male Bronze Age garment click.

Caveat: The Mound People

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:30 am
by finnobreanan
Billy wrote:Seems that western and northern European Bronze Age sheep were of the brown, tan, grey and black variety. White sheep did not come into existence here until the Iron Age. This suggests that they didn't dye their cloth, or if they did, it was darker dye than the wool itself. Of the cloth that has been found from this period, there is no evidence I know of that suggests dyeing. So brown, grey, tan or black for colours.

The best evidence for clothing from this part of the world is to be found in a book called 'The Mound People' by P.V. Glob. It can be bought online for relatively cheap, or try your local library. It describes the clothing found in Bronze Age Denmark, which is the closest extant collection of clothing from this period. The bodies were preserved in oak coffins in waterlogged mounds, and were wearing woolen cloaks, tunics, skirts, hats and shoes, as well as accessories, jewelery and weapons.

The clothing in John's photos is relatively representational of what BA men might have been wearing, at least in Denmark at any rate. it's the best we have to go on with current evidence.John's cloth is a little on the blue side of grey, but passes muster anyway.

Hope this helps.
Billy.

Billy,

I recently obtained a used copy of this book and it is great. The discoveries of Bronze Age peoples of Denmark and Norway circa 2000 BCE are are wonderful revolation. But, although some of the grave artifacts came from Celtic culture, we must remember that this is a GERMANIC SOCIETY, and NOT Celtic. The clothing is probably typical of the time period, but we can't be sure that this is what the Irish of the Bronze Age were wearing. Thanks again Billy for bringing this discovery onto the discussion page.

Re: A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 9:00 pm
by vlasta
Looks like at least piled clothes were known in Bronze Age Ireland. In Killymoon, Co. Tyrone, two pieces of textile were found, and they 'have some twisted/spun threads running back into a solid or perhaps felted base, and may represent a type of shaggy wool cloth. The z-twisted threads are 1-1.10 mm in diameter, 10-14 mm long and reddish in colour.' (Elizabeth Wincott Heckett Late Bronze Age textiles, hair and fibre remains, and spindle whorls from Killymoon, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland [in:] A. Rast-Eicher, Renata Windler NESAT IX).

Re: A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:32 pm
by Billy
although some of the grave artifacts came from Celtic culture, we must remember that this is a GERMANIC SOCIETY, and NOT Celtic. The clothing is probably typical of the time period, but we can't be sure that this is what the Irish of the Bronze Age were wearing.


Well I did mention twice that they were Danish, and not Irish.
Also, since these are bronze age, I'm not sure whether it's fair to assign items from this time period as either Germanic or Celtic. It's a bit further back than we can culturally identify, in my opinion.

But there rages another argument again.

Thanks for the thanks Finn!

Le meas,
Billy.

Re: A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:03 pm
by finnobreanan
Billy wrote:Well I did mention twice that they were Danish, and not Irish.
Also, since these are bronze age, I'm not sure whether it's fair to assign items from this time period as either Germanic or Celtic. It's a bit further back than we can culturally identify, in my opinion.

But there rages another argument again.

Thanks for the thanks Finn!

Le meas,
Billy.


Very good point Billy. I should have done a bit more homework, because the 2000 BC date is certainly before the Celts. I now remembered seeing similar garments in Mairead Dunlevy's book, Dress in Ireland: A History. On page 15 she discusses a man's costume from a bog in County Antrim dated to about 750 BC. She discusses the woolen clothing and sash found. She compares the garments to "Bronze Age oak-coffin burials of Schleswig and Jutland" and says, "it is possible to use the the evidence from better preserved north European graves. An artist's rendering is on the same page.
Image

I also pulled out Simon James' book, The World of the Celts. In discussing female dress, he compares the many similarities between Hallstatt finds and materials found in Denmark, including a remarkably well preserved tartan type skirt from a bog.

Considering all this, the Scandanavian oak-coffin grave clothing is probably a good example of what Bronze Age people of northern Europe were wearing, including Ireland.

Re: A glimpse of non-Mediterranean Bronze Age clothes

PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:43 pm
by carraig
Hello again,

One more question - how are the shoulder-straps holding the garment of type similar to Trindhoj or Emmer Erfscheidenveen finds fixed? The garment is a wrap-around one with straps at each end. Are they stitched to the "back" of the garment or just pinned? Another thing is the cloak. The Emmer Erfscheidenveen piece is of a strange shape I fail at describing, here's the pic:

Image

How about the Trindhoj or Mjuldberg cloaks? Are they rectangular or in some other shape?