The Social and Technological Development of Prehistoric Basketry

Dr Joanne Clarke (University of East Anglia) 

The Social and Technological Development of Prehistoric Basketry

There is no book or article existing that surveys prehistoric basketry from around the world. This is partly because the topic is a large one but also due to the widespread and very fragmentary nature of ancient basketry remains. There are, however, very detailed and informative books on ancient basketry of particular regions; Egypt and North America, for example. The aim of this paper is to do three things. First, it surveys and summarises what has been written about prehistoric basketry from around the world. Secondly it explores ways in which prehistoric basketry shared common techniques and developmental trajectories, even when the likelihood of transmission of techniques was slim. Reasons for commonalities are explored. Finally, there has never been a comprehensive assessment of the ancient basketry of the Near East, although a significant amount survives. The third aspect of this paper will be to examine ancient Near Eastern basketry and its place in the development of ancient basketry generally.






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