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  Estonian Journal of Archaeology

ISSN 1736-7484 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-2933 (print)

Published since 1997

Estonian Journal of Archaeology

ISSN 1736-7484 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-2933 (print)

Published since 1997

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SILK AS A LUXURY IN LATE MEDIEVAL AND EARLY MODERN TARTU (ESTONIA); pp. 165–183

(Full article in PDF format) doi: 10.3176/arch.2016.2.04


Authors

Riina Rammo

Abstract

Thanks to favourable preservation conditions, thousands of textile fragments dating from the medieval and modern era have been found in Tartu cesspits. These fragments mostly originate from fabrics made of wool; silk finds are rare (0.6% of finds). Medieval and
early modern sumptuary laws are a valuable source for evaluating attitudes to silk in comparison to archaeological evidence. Pieces of silk fabrics, bands and sewing threads, which could be characterised as rather modest, are nonetheless important when investigating consumption habits in a middle-sized Hanseatic town in medieval Livonia. Wearing silk in Tartu during this period can be regarded as a sign of luxury consumption, self-expression and social display.



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