Fabienne MÉDARD - L'Artisanat textile au Néolithique. L'exemple de Delley-Portalban II (Suisse) 3272-2462 avant J.-C.,(préf. D. Ramseyer), 2000, 260 p., 99 fig., 53 pl. (ISBN: 2-907303-45-7)
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The study of the prehistoric lake village of Delley-Portalban (station II) has completely altered our approach to Neolithic life in central Europe. On the basis of the discoveries at this outstanding site, whose chronology is supported by both stratigraphy and dendrochronology, F. Medard presents an exhaustive study of the assemblage of finds related to the production of textile: the occasional remains of fabric, balls and fragments of thread, but most particularly numerous tools and utensils (including several hundred loomweights and spindlewhorls) often associated with work areas.
Frequently illuminated by a detailed examination of the archaeological evidence, enriched with ethnographic parallels, an anthropological study of the field records and some experimental research, the book reveals all the aspects of a craft industry which must have occupied a central place among the activities of Neolithic communities. The most surprising aspect is the importance of lime bast, a material generally used by many different pre-industrial cultures, but hitherto unsuspected in those of prehistoric Europe. By reminding us of forgotten practices, this book opens a window onto the daily life and crafts of our Neolithic ancestors.