chapter  10
17 Pages


The case of weaving and its tools
ByMiriam Peskowitz

Recent archaeological and historical approaches have taught us to admire and analyze the large objects of public architecture and art, and to take seriously the small objects that emerge from excavations everywhere. Among the “small objects” excavated throughout Roman Palestine in the second and third centuries CE we find loom weights and other objects related to the technology of weaving textiles. Textile production was one of the top three industries of Roman Palestine, standing beside the production of oil and wine. As its artifactual trail of weaving and other aspects of this production have become clearer, we have gained insight into an extraordinary set of social practices and beliefs. This is true in part because weaving and spinning were such important parts of the textual legacy from this historic period.