Birch bark – the material and its processing with regard to the examination of the earliest known Neolithic bow case.

Klügl, Johanna; di Pietro, Giovanna; Hafner, Albert (24 February 2021). Birch bark – the material and its processing with regard to the examination of the earliest known Neolithic bow case. In: The significance of archaeological textiles. online (du to the corona pandemic). 24.-25.2.2021.

[img] Text
2021_Abstract_Thefbo.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (3MB)

During prehistory times birch bark was an easily available resource thanks to the widespread presence of the birch tree in the natural landscape. Due to its perishable nature, archaeological objects made of birch bark like containers, hats, fishing equipment and torches are rare, but they do demonstrate the versatile uses of this material. Birch bark is water-repellent, lightweight, durable and can be worked similar to leather.
Between 2003 and 2005 the earliest known protective case for a bow was recovered out of a melting ice patch at the Schnidejoch Pass in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland and represents a new example of the use of birch bark. The so-called bow case is made of differently oriented, superimposed birch bark strips, measures 1.7 m in lengths and is dated between 2880 and 2640 BC. This outstanding object – which lacks comparable parallels - was the focus of an interdisciplinary four years research project aiming to understand the choice of birch bark as construction material and the technology available to Neolithic hunter-gatherers. Fundamental for this was an intensive study of the object itself. Information on the harvesting and processing were gained by reviewing the published literature about indigenous knowledge and by interviewing craftspeople working with birch bark. The presentation/paper will present principal conclusions concerning the material properties, the harvesting process and the use of birch bark. The deep understanding of this material and its processing allows for a better interpretation of the manufacture traces found on the bow case and on other objects made of birch bark.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg)
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History
06 Faculty of Humanities > Other Institutions > Walter Benjamin Kolleg (WBKolleg) > Center for Global Studies (CGS)

Graduate School:

Graduate School of the Humanities (GSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Hafner, Albert

Subjects:

900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

Language:

English

Submitter:

Albert Hafner-Lafitte

Date Deposited:

28 Jun 2021 15:23

Last Modified:

28 Jun 2021 15:24

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/154416

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/154416

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback