How it works?

Magdalena Wo┼║niak
March 21, 2018

Nubian Textiles is for now composed of two databases: textiles and tools. I plan to add in a near-future an iconography database to offer a more complete picture of our present knowledge about textiles and costumes in medieval Makuria. Both textiles and tools databases are searchable and interconnected to give the most complete information and serve as a convenient tool for every scholar.

Simple research will give you the results in a resumé form including the picture of the object, its name, findspot, and dating.
To get access to the full content of the entry, you just need to click on the image :)

Here, I give you a detailed description of a typical textile file.
The documentation is detailed into 14 sections:

-        Name: identifies the object (varies from generic “textile” to more precise terms “kilim” or “socks”, “bag” when the function and/or a specific technical weave could have been identified) with reference to present location (Museum code (see Section "Partner Institutions" + inventory number) in order to facilitate browsing through simple research.

-        Findspot (context): gives the name of the site where the object was found and specifies the archaeological context if it is known (settlement, funerary, survey). The field register number is also given when the data is available.

-        Dating: informs about the general chronological frame or more precise dating depending on the available data

-        Present location: indicates the Institution (Museum, Research Institute, …) and inventory number.

-        Dimensions: length x width, expressed in centimetres, and determined by the orientation of warp and weft. The picture usually presents the textile with the right position of warp (vertical thread) and weft (horizontal weft). Otherwise, a thin arrow shows the warp orientation.

-        Weave: specifies the technical construction of the fabric.

-        Decoration: details any feature creating an aesthetic effect in the textile (structure, colour, …).

-        Warp: includes information about fibre identification, twist direction, the colour of the yarn, and density.

-        Weft: same sub-categories as for the warp section.

-        Other features: include other visible details as selvedges, starting borders, tassels, or tailoring.

-        Documentation: specifies the source of the analysis (autoptic observation, Museum’s database, publication).

-        Analysis: informs about specific examination performed in laboratories (chromatography, microscopy, isotopes, C 14…).

-        Production: determines if the fabric was locally made or not. The section may contain additional references for comparative material.

-        Bibliography: lists literature referring to site and/or to the object.


Regarding tools, the documentation file comprises 12 sections:

-        Name: identifies the object type (spindle-whorl, awl…) and gives reference to the present collection (Museum code + inventory number) in order to facilitate browsing through simple research.

-        Findspot (context): gives the name of the site where the object was found and specifies the archaeological context if it is known (settlement, funerary, survey). The field register number is also given when the data is available.

-        Dating: general chronological frame or more precise dating depending on the available data

-        Present location: Institution (Museum, Research Institute, …) and inventory number.

-        Shape: used mainly to describe the type of spindle -whorl (disc, conic, …).

-        Raw material: what is the object made of.

-        Weight: expressed in grams.
[For spindle-whorls, the value category is specified in brackets, in order to facilitate research. The values are: 0-9.99/10-19.99/20-29.99/30-39.99/40 and more]. When the spindle-whorl is not complete, the weight of the fragment is given, and the estimated weight is indicated in the same section. The value category refers to the estimated weight.

-        Diameter: expressed in centimetres.

-        Thickness: expressed in centimetres.
For conic sherds, the measurement gives the lowest and the highest values. For example, 0.8/1.3 means that the outer edge of the sherd is 0.8 cm, and the central part, where the sherd is perforated, is 1.3 cm thick. Otherwise, it is the maximum value which is indicated.

-        Perforation diameter: expressed in centimetres.
As in the thickness section, if the perforation diameter is larger on one side than on the other, the two values are given. For example, 0.9/1.1 means that on the one side the perforation diameter is 0.9 cm wide and on the other side it is 1.1 cm wide.
For half-processed spindle-whorls, where the perforation has not been performed, we give "n.c."  for "not concerned" or "unpierced".
For broken fragments where the perforation diameter can not be estimated, we give "n.d." for "not determined".

-        Documentation: this section specifies the source of the analysis (autoptic observation, Museum’s database, publication).

-        Bibliography: lists literature referring to site and/or to the object.