Power through textiles: Women as ritual performers in ancient Greece
Introduction Studies of ancient Greek religion tend to leave out an important category of votive offerings: textiles. This is a consequence of two factors: the underestimation of the importance of textiles in modern scholarship and the near absence of textiles themselves in the archaeological record. Exceptional climatic conditions such as freezing, waterlogging, or desiccation – conditions which are not prevalent in the ancient Mediterranean – account for the few textiles that are preserved (Gleba and Mannering 2012, 2). There are therefore few preserved textile remains from ancient Greece, and these rare examples are almost exclusively from burials (Spantidaki and Moulhérat 2012). Furthermore, when textiles are recovered it is either in the form of small fragments or in the form of so-called pseudomorphs, i.e. they are in a mineralized state caused by the chemical interaction with metal objects (Moulhérat and Spantidaki 2009a, 2009b).