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Lotta Zooming

Monday is the only day this week I haven’t had a Zoom meeting. Most of them were elective seminars, including an hour long talk on the object in the picture.

It is not, as it looks, a piece of cloth. It is an iron brooch that was used to fix a shroud in a burial in East Yorkshire. It has corroded into the shape of the fabric it held, which is how it has managed to survive over 2,000 years.

Fabric from the Iron Age. Holy shit.

The talk was by a British Museum employee who has tried to reproduce the fabric during her lockdown. It’s detailed enough that she’s been able to work out the weaving pattern and whether the yarn was twisted clockwise or counter-clockwise. This matters – where the warp and weft cross over each other, the fabric is tighter if both strands are moving in the same direction. But that means one direction has to be clockwise and the other counter-clockwise.

Trust me, it makes sense when you see it explained with diagrams.

On Saturday, I had an all-day seminar on East Yorkshire burials from the Prehistory Society. And I’ve decided I really, really like Zoom for this kind of thing. Comfy chair, big pot of coffee. Break for lunch and munch on stuff during the afternoon section.

They’re going back to in-person next year. I guess a big motivation for members is professional archaeologists meeting up at the pub afterwards, but it does seem a shame to those of us who just want to hear the talks and eat potato chips.


Comment from dissent
Time: March 12, 2021, 4:33 am

I have to try to remember during that part of the Zoom meeting where I start to nod off that I need to switch off the video.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 12, 2021, 12:57 pm

First off – good on ya for not sitting there nekkid during the Zoom meeting, combining the old kink of taking nekkid photos of reflective things to be sold on Ebay, and the vogue kink of doing, uh, something, while you’re in a Zoom meeting.

Secondly, I propose based on secret NASA sat photos that THAT is actually a live photo of an Alien Xlorphin Class combat carrier, they can cloak so we can’t see them on radar and what not, but probably some Mid-Rlaftin wasn’t minding the light bending device that keeps the ship from being seen in the visual spectrum. They’re having problems with the ones originally installed and not all the fleet ships have been space docked to replace them yet.

Based on the limited silhouette image available the ship in front of it is a Glafteenin class troop carrier, but it could also be a Klarrafti class fleet supply fueler, they used the same hull with but with considerably less armor or weaponry on the fueler.

Or, it could be some piece of iron that took on the shape of the fabric it was wrapped in, which IS interesting, but not nearly as exciting as my version of reality.
Was the fabric wool?

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 12, 2021, 2:17 pm

DurnedYankee asks a good question: Was the fabric wool? Would the lanolin in the wool have slowed the corrosion of the iron resulting in a form of petrification?

Stoaty, I bet you are not the only person who regrets in advance the future loss of the Zoom meetings.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 12, 2021, 2:55 pm

See, this is where I wish I knew more about chemical compounds and the way decomposing/eroding materials create compounds combined with other decomposing/eroding materials to change into things like this. Like the right conditions to preserve a ‘dinosaur’ sitting on it’s nest ->

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: March 12, 2021, 4:01 pm

Also – the colors in the preserved remnant.
I didn’t see any reference saying so, but I guess – as learned in “Stoaty pigments and dyes 101” that as fabric, it would have been dyes and thus rather impermanent.

Did they mention during the talk if the colors were indicative of the actual colors of the original fabric at all or are they just a random by-product of the decomp?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 12, 2021, 7:06 pm

Huh. I’m sure I answered earlier. I must not have hit post.

Yes, it’s wool and no, that’s not the proper color. Though she did know there were at least three different colors, not sure how. Three different weights of yarn, maybe?

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