Bronze Age woollen textile production in England: a consideration of evidence and potentials

Mark Haughton, Marie Louise Stig Sørensen, Lise Bender Jørgensen

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Responding to recent advances in knowledge about the first arrival of woollen sheep in Europe and linked investigations of textile remains on the Continent, this paper argues that our insight into the role of wool in the English Bronze Age needs rethinking. We argue that the relevant questions are: when did the procurement of and working with wool become a routine aspect of settlement life, and did the change from plant fibres to wool affect communities differently? The paper outlines some of the core research questions we need to consider and points to the necessity of triangulating between the evidence provided by textiles, faunal remains, and textile working tools to reach more comprehensive insights. The paper ends by indicating a further research question – namely whether the apparent differences in the ‘wool economy’ in different parts of Bronze Age Europe may suggest differences in ‘body politics’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Prehistoric Society
Pages (from-to)173-188
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bronze Age
  • England
  • fauna
  • loom weights
  • sheep
  • spindle whorls
  • textile


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