Textile Production

Fiber Acquisition

Among the numerous crafts that were developed during the early stages of civilization, that of textile production stands out as one of the lesser known. Archaeological evidence shows that from as early as the neolithic people prepared cloth using many of the techniques that can be observed in the twenty first century in some traditional communities. The difficulty in defining the parameters and structure of this ancient industry lies in the absence of ancient textiles and the organic materials utilized in their preparation from the archaeological record. However, the history of textile production has been pieced together based on evidence provided from iconographic and textual sources, which describe the structure of palatial or state-run textile workshops; the discovery of non-organic production tools that appear in archaeological excavations throughout the region; as well as data collected from contemporary ethnographic studies of traditional communities. Canaan, or the land of Israel, had the advantage of being situated at the crossroads of ancient civilizations.Not only did this have numerous historical consequences but also, on a technological level, the region benefited from immigrants or passe rs-through who introduced techniques acquired in their homelands. Cross-cultural contact between them, or members of neighboring cultures, and the local population resulted in the introduction and diffusion of these new technologies. In fact, at different periods during the history of the southern Levant, it is possible to identify the incorporation of some of these new elements into the process of textile production.