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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.

March 11, 2021 — 9:13 pm
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