The article begins with a story of a woman living in Ohio 2,000 years ago who works to create one of the remarkable textiles of the Hopewell culture. The details of this fictional story are drawn from the hard work of Kathryn Jakes, a professor of textile sciences at the Ohio State University, and her graduate students over the past decade. One aspect of their research has been to experiment with alternative ways that ancient people might have harvested plants, extracted fibers, spun yarn and twined fabric.The following quote from Jakes is excerpted from the article:
Early people had great technological knowledge. They knew when to collect the plants, how to process the fiber, and how to make the yarn and dyes. By replicating the fabric, you know what was in their minds.
The article includes many wonderful images of ancient textiles, including a close-up of a piece of charred fabric from Ohios Seip Mound, which is from the collections of the Ohio Historical Society.
The OHS Archaeology Staff is proud to be a partner in the on-going research of Kathryn Jakes and her students and we look forward to many new insights into this important, but long neglected ancient technology.