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Part 3. Small by nature

Women’s work: The dedication of loom weights in the sanctuaries of southern Italy

Le travail des femmes : la dédicace de poids de métier à tisser dans les sanctuaires de l’Italie du sud
Alexandra Sofroniew
p. 291-209

Résumés

On rencontre fréquemment dans les sanctuaires du monde ancien des poids de métier à tisser, que les archéologues ont souvent réduits à de simples restes de tissage qui se pratiquait sur le site ou à des offrandes faites par la classe inférieure. En concentrant mon étude sur des poids trouvés dans le sanctuaire samnite de Valle d’Ansanto, où les objets découverts datent du ve au iiie siècle av. J.-C., je souligne l’importance de ces poids comme offrandes plutôt que comme outils et approfondis le sens que revêtent celles-ci pour les femmes dans le cadre du sanctuaire. Je situe enfin ces poids dans le contexte de découvertes faites sur des sites sacrés et domestiques de la Grande Grèce.

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Texte intégral

I would like to thank the conference organisers, Amy C. Smith, Marianne Bergeron, and Katerina Volioti for giving me the opportunity to present this work, and in particular Amy and Marianne for their detailed comments during the editorial process. I thank Edward Bispham and the two anonymous reviewers for their thought-provoking suggestions. I am indebted to Teresa Navarro Gomez and Nicholas Sofroniew for their help with the illustrations. Any errors remain entirely my own. This article is derived in part from my doctoral research into the votive deposits of southern Italy, which has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and Brasenose College, Oxford.

1. Introduction

1Small, portable, and durable, loom weights have been recovered from archaeological sites across the ancient world, and provide valuable evidence for what must have been a widespread and everyday activity, weaving. In what follows, however, the focus is on loom weights as votive dedications rather than as tools. The loom weights found in sanctuaries are commonly interpreted as the remnants of sacred weaving that took place at the site, or, if a votive purpose is acknowledged, they are assumed to be low status offerings of little value. Evidence from the Samnite sanctuary at Valle d’Ansanto, which I shall argue is a clear case of loom weights being used as votives, allows for the exploration of why these objects may have been considered suitable offerings, especially for women, with a greater symbolic value than their material and size might suggest.

  • 2 All dates hence are BCE unless otherwise noted.
  • 3 It is often stated that sheep-farming was a major economy of the Apennine areas (especially Samnium (...)

2In order to place this analysis of votive loom weights within a larger context, I shall consider the archaeological evidence for sacred weaving from two additional sites, the Heraion at Foce del Sele, outside Paestum, and the acropolis at Francavilla Marittima, near ancient Sybaris, before turning to Valle d’Ansanto. These two sites have both Italic and colonial Greek populations at different points in their histories, raising questions over the possible Greek influence on Italic practices. Although it can be difficult to accurately date votive objects, the finds and sanctuaries under discussion here date at the broadest to between the 9th and 3rd centuries BCE, essentially the pre-Roman period in southern Italy.2 The geographical parameters are the ancient regions of Samnium, Lucania, and Apulia, and the coastal cities of Magna Graecia, mainly Paestum and Metaponto (figure 1).3

  • 4 For a clear and detailed discussion of the evidence for ancient weaving, see Gleba, 2008. The warp- (...)
  • 5 For further description and illustration of the warp-weighted loom, see Barber, 1992, p. 109, fig. (...)
  • 6 For the discoidal form, see fig. 3; for the truncated pyramidal form, see fig. 4. Loom weights rang (...)
  • 7 Sartoris, 1997, p. 227, n. 2 in a report on the Italic site of Pomarico Vecchio, observes that 87% (...)
  • 8 Suggested by Dotta, 1989, p. 201, on the basis of loom weights found at Locri.

3In ancient Greece and Italy, woven textiles for dress and decoration were produced almost exclusively using the warp-weighted loom.4 This type of standing loom uses weights to pull down the threads of the warp (vertical threads), allowing the weaver to draw the weft (horizontal threads) over-and-under to create the cloth.5 The standing loom enabled the production of cloth of considerable size. These looms were constructed mainly of wood, and therefore rarely survive in the archaeological record. The resulting textiles are also poorly preserved, but the more durable loom weights, for the most part made of clay, stone or metal, are attested from the Neolithic period onwards in diverse contexts from across Italy. Most clay loom weights are shaped into truncated pyramidal, truncated conical, or discoidal forms.6 The truncated pyramidal and discoidal forms are prevalent across southern Italy during the period under consideration here, the 9th to 3rd centuries; the discoidal form may have become more common in Magna Graecian contexts from the 4th century onwards.7 There is also evidence for a change over time from one to two suspension holes, to allow for the attachment of more threads.8

  • 9 See Dotta, 1989, p. 185-86, n. 5 for a review of this debate.
  • 10 Orlandini, 1953. On the term oscilla used to describe loom weights, see also Dotta, 1989, p. 187, n (...)
  • 11 Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943; di Vita, 1956.
  • 12 Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943, p. 67-69 cite the red-figured skyphos from Chiusi, dated to the mid- (...)
  • 13 This vase is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 31.11.10; ABV, 154, no. 57.
  • 14 Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943, p. 68, fig. 30; they note that the loom weight is decorated with a s (...)
  • 15 Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943, p. 68.
  • 16 Serritella, 1990, p. 162, fig. 275a; Gleba, 2008, p. 127, fig. 92.

4There has been debate in the past among scholars over the primary function of loom weights, and their role when found at sanctuary sites.9 In part, this debate arose due to the diverse range of contexts in which these objects were found: at habitation sites both inside buildings and in foundation deposits, in tombs with burial goods, and at sacred sites, in sanctuary buildings or votive deposits. Piero Orlandini, for example, in an article discussing finds from Gela in Sicily, argued that ‘so-called’ loom weights were not used in weaving at all, but had a purely ritual usage as oscillae, objects hung from trees during cult ceremonies.10 This hypothesis was discredited by Gladys Davidson and Dorothy Burr Thompson, and Antonino di Vita, among others, who demonstrated that use for weaving was the primary function of loom weights, and that any ritual function was secondary.11 Their arguments are based on depictions of weaving on painted pottery that show small objects hanging from the threads of looms.12 The clearest example is on an Attic black-figure lekythos attributed to the Amasis Painter, dating to the mid 6th century (figure 2).13 This vessel shows a series of scenes of women involved in different stages of the wool-working process; at one stage they weave at a large warp-weighted loom and the loom weights can be clearly identified, attached to the end of the threads by means of a metal loop. Indeed, a loom weight reportedly in the British Museum, which still has intact the metal ring onto which the threads were tied, makes clear the likeness of the painted weights.14 Davidson and Burr Thompson suggest on the basis of the clay fabric of this weight that it came originally from Italy.15 A similar example with intact metal ring has been excavated from Fratte in southern Italy (dating to the 5th century).16

  • 17 See Gleba, 2009a, p. 71-72, table 1, for Italian votive deposits containing loom weights.
  • 18 This is the main argument of Gleba, 2009a (see esp. p. 81). For loom weights as votives, see Liseno (...)

5The presence of loom weights at sanctuaries in their hundreds, however, attests to the symbolic potency of these objects, as well as to their practical purpose.17 To explain the large quantities of loom weights found at sacred sites, scholars commonly posit that they are used in sacred weaving taking place within the sanctuary (rather than being dedicated as votives).18 While such weaving is generally assumed to have had a ritual purpose, namely the production of cloth for a deity or festival, it may also have served to supply the inhabitants of the sanctuary, for example the garments of the priests or priestesses, or visitors to the site.

2. Sacred weaving: the Greek model and the Italian evidence

  • 19 Gleba, 2009a, p. 77.
  • 20 For a general overview of this festival, termed the peplophoria, see Mansfield, 1985 and Barber, 19 (...)
  • 21 Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.16.2; 5.16.2; 6.24.10. Aleshire, Lambert, 2003, p. 71-72; Gleba (...)
  • 22 Aleshire, Lambert, 2003, p. 71.
  • 23 Gleba, 2009a, p. 78. In other cases, however, cloth woven at home is given as a gift to the gods. I (...)
  • 24 I use the name ‘Paestum’ rather than ‘Poseidonia’ because I am considering the settlement under Luc (...)

6The Greek evidence for weaving in a sanctuary context centres around the weaving of the peplos (or garment) for Athena, the goddess of weaving, on the Athenian Acropolis.19 This task was carried out by young women in a designated area on the Acropolis and the finished cloth was dedicated to the goddess during the annual Panathenaic festival there.20 Pausanias mentions two similar festivals involving the dedication of cloth at other sites in Greece, describing the practice of weaving specific items for both male and female deities: Hera at Olympia and Apollo at Amyklai.21 Epigraphic evidence also attests to a similar rite for Hera at Argos.22 As Margarita Gleba points out, in all of these cases a specific building within the sanctuary is used for the sacred weaving, and the process of weaving itself seems to have been part of the ritual.23 This Greek model for sacred weaving taking place at a sanctuary in a specific building and resulting in the dedication of the finished cloth to a deity (especially Athena and Hera) has directly and strongly influenced scholarly interpretations of the loom weights found in the two Italian contexts discussed below, the Heraion at Foce del Sele and Francavilla Marittima (see figure 1).24

  • 25 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 223-24.
  • 26 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 224. For recent work on the (probably peaceful) Lucanian take-over o (...)
  • 27 This building measures 12 x 12m.
  • 28 Zancani Montuoro, 1966, p. 78.
  • 29 Gleba, 2009a, p. 79, n. 30.
  • 30 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225; Gleba, 2009a, p. 79-80.
  • 31 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225: … dovremmo immaginare, nell’edificio quadrato, la presenze di t (...)

7Let us turn first to the Heraion at Foce del Sele outside laestum. Located at the mouth of the Sele river on the ancient coastline and near to the Greek colony at Paestum, the sanctuary developed in the 7th century.25 A series of buildings were constructed at the site, resulting in a large, richly decorated temple and two altars by the 5th century. Changes occurred at the site at the end of the 5th century, as the Lucanians took over nearby Paestum. Although the cult continued and the main temple remained in place, surrounding buildings were repaired or newly constructed reusing the Archaic building material.26 It is in one of these new Lucanian buildings, termed the Square Building, that around 300 loom weights were found by excavators.27 These objects were originally published by Paola Zancani Montuoro, who argued that the loom weights were not used for weaving at all, but instead to weigh other dedications and determine their value.28 This view found little acceptance, however, in part because clay does not consistently provide a precise weight.29 Instead, scholars proposed that the Square Building may have been used for large-scale ritual weaving. Giovanna Greco and Juliette de La Genière point out that very few loom weights were found in other areas of the site, while so many were concentrated in the Square Building.30 They suggest that in this building ‘we shall have to imagine three or four looms functioning as part of a genuine weaving activity, for the purposes of a very specific ritual, and one well attested in all Hera sanctuaries, and not only in those of Hera: the peplophoria’.31

  • 32 Votive dedications were commonly placed into storage or ritually re-buried at sanctuary sites, beca (...)
  • 33 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225.
  • 34 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225.

8As mentioned above, the dedication of ritually woven cloth to Hera is known from two sanctuaries on mainland Greece. Greco and de La Genière envision a similar ritual occurring at the Heraion outside Paestum. There are several factors, however, that complicate this interpretation. On the one hand, it remains possible that the c. 300 loom weights were votive objects being stored in the building after dedication.32 Many other objects were also found inside the Square Building, including a marble statue of Hera and clay vessels of types which commonly have a ritual or votive purpose: over 90 unguentari along with hydriai and pelikai (althrough these could also be used as storage vessels).33 Greco and de La Genière stress the association between these types of vessels (and the loom weights) and the ‘mundus muliebris’.34 This building, therefore, could have been a storage area for certain type of dedications; perhaps those made by women or those connected to a particular aspect of Hera, for example her role as a married woman.

  • 35 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225.

9On the other hand, accepting the proposal that the loom weights were indeed used for weaving in the Square Building (and eating, drinking, and cooking vessels also found in the building do suggest that daily activities took place there), questions remain over whether that weaving was sacred or secular, and whether it was a continuation of earlier Greek practice or newly introduced at the sanctuary under the Lucanians. Constructed at the start of the Lucanian period of the site, the Square Building is on a different orientation from the main temple and altars that continued to be the focal point of the sanctuary, and its entrance faces the opposite direction.35 This unusual alignment and oblique entry suggest a deliberate attempt to differentiate the function of this building, which may be due to the non-ritual purpose of the weaving taking place there, or indicative of a major change in ritual introduced by the Lucanians. Therefore, while it is likely that weaving did occur at the sanctuary, and perhaps in the Square Building, I would hesitate to invoke the Greek model of sacred weaving for a specific festival.

  • 36 Maaskant Kleibrink, 1993, p. 11; Kleibrink, 2001, p. 50-53, figs. 8.2, 10.
  • 37 The standing female dedicator type of votive offering is thoroughly discussed by Ammerman, 2002, es (...)
  • 38 Maaskant Kleibrink, 1993, p. 17, fig. 15; Maaskant Kleibrink, 2000, p. 174-75, fig. 92; Kleibrink e (...)
  • 39 Kleibrink, 2001, p. 49: ‘the calibrated radiocarbon date for the stratum with the loom weights is c (...)

10Evidence from the Italic site of Francavilla Marittima, near ancient Sybaris, points more directly to the occurrence of a sacred ritual involving the dedication of cloth to a goddess. Pinakes and painted pottery depicting the procession of women towards a seated female deity have been found there, as well as clay votive figurines of standing women holding cloth.36 Although clay figurines showing standing female dedicators with various attributes are a common votive type, it is very unusual for them to be depicted holding cloth.37 Moreover, evidence for weaving taking place at the site begins in the earliest period of habitation there. Loom weights lying in two rows as if fallen from a loom have been found in a large timber building on the acropolis of the site, along with cooking vessels and a hearth surrounded by bronze jewellery, matt-painted pottery fragments, and animal bones.38 The loom weights are decorated with an intricate maeander pattern and their find context is dated to the middle of the 9th century by carbon dating (although this date could be pushed forward into the 8th century); similar loom weights have been found in other areas of the site, and in contemporary funerary contexts from the neighbouring necropolis.39

  • 40 Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 46, 48.
  • 41 Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 48-52.
  • 42 Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 52.
  • 43 Maaskant Kleibrink, 2000, p. 177, 181; Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 52. The fundamental work on the c (...)
  • 44 Kleibrink, 2001, p. 51 describes this period as ‘truly colonial’. However, Kleibrink et al., 2004, (...)
  • 45 Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 55-61.
  • 46 For discussion of the inscription, see Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 61.

11Marianne Kleibrink argues that the combination of finds in this early timber building, when compared to contemporaneous dwellings nearby, ‘seem not to belong to the normal domestic sphere, but to indicate religious use’, and she terms this building the ‘Weaving House’.40 This site of local cultic focus then evolves into a communal sacred area patronised by natives and Greeks, with a particular and continuous focus on weaving. At the end of the 8th century, three large sacred buildings are constructed over the area of the ‘Weaving House’ on the acropolis.41 As Kleibrink observes, these temples show signs of Greek influence and perhaps even direct involvement in their design, and imported Greek pottery dating to the last quarter of the 8th century is found there.42 Rather than seeing this as evidence for the establishment of a ‘frontier sanctuary’ for Greek Sybaris, however, Kleibrink makes a persuasive case for continuing native influence at the site at this time.43 Around the middle of the 7th century, the early timber temples were rebuilt in mud brick, and Greek influence at the site seems to have increased.44 The finds from the second half of the 7th century attest to the sustained importance of weaving at the site: pinakes show a seated deity with a roll of cloth, and clay vessels for holding wool are dedicated as votives.45 A 6th century inscription explicitly attests to the worship of Athena, and it is possible on the basis of the strong weaving iconography of the earlier pinakes, and pottery showing processions of women, that Athena was worshipped at the site already from the construction of the first temples there.46

  • 47 Kleibrink, 2001, p. 55.
  • 48 Purcell, 2005, esp. p. 124-30. Interestingly, Purcell comments that ‘It is clear that it will never (...)
  • 49 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 226.

12Yet a female cult connected to weaving seems to have existed on the acropolis prior to native contact with Greek colonists from Sybaris.47 The association with Athena at Francavilla Marittima seems likely to have grown from this pre-existing native cult. Similarly, at the Heraion at Foce del Sele, the evidence strongly suggests that any weaving in the ‘Square Building’ took place under Lucanian, rather than Greek influence. Recent research on colonial and native interactions in southern Italy has stressed their reciprocal nature and their complexity, and the highly variable choices that groups made in adopting or discarding external models; Purcell in particular discusses the flow of people, ideas, and influences not only from the Greek coast to native settlements inland, but also from inland towards the coast.48 Therefore, although Greco and de La Genière regard the weaving at the Heraion at Foce del Sele as one indicator of the ‘strong adhesion of Lucanian society to Greek cultural models’, I think that the presence of Italic cultural models for the practice is much more likely.49 The dedication of woven fabric or textile tools in southern Italic sanctuaries should not be seen as necessarily deriving from Greek ritual customs. Instead, these two cases provide evidence for an Italic tradition of venerating ‘women’s work’ and incorporating wool working and weaving into ritual activities that pre-dates and co-exists with Greek practices.

3. Loom weights as votive dedications: The case of Valle d’Ansanto

  • 50 Mingazzini, 1974, p. 204-206.
  • 51 Johannowsky, et al., 1983, p. 301.
  • 52 Perishable items are very rarely visible in the archaeological record, and are therefore under-repr (...)
  • 53 A classic study on the value of objects is Appadurai, 1986. Gleba, 2009a, p. 74: ‘The low intrinsic (...)
  • 54 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986, p. 97-98, cited also by Gleba, 2009a, p. 74, n. 14, n. 15. Palatine Anthol (...)

13Besides the practice of sacred weaving, other explanations that have been put forth for the presence of loom weights at sanctuaries include use for weighing votive offerings, or as markers left attached to woven cloth dedications.50 The belief that (especially clay) loom weights would not have been suitable dedications in their own right because of their small size, inexpensive material, and lowly function has influenced scholarship, without support from the ancient evidence. As a result, the significance of votive loom weights has been undervalued. For example, the excavators discussing the c. 100 loom weights found at the Santa Venera sanctuary outside Paestum state that they were ‘evidently a cheap dedication’.51 This assumption, however, is difficult for us to confirm; although less expensive than many other votives, such as custom-made clay figurines or bronze items, there may have been cheaper dedications, such as foodstuffs or other small household items.52 More importantly, while the relative economic value of the loom weight may have been very low, the symbolic value to the dedicator may have been much higher.53 As Franca Ferrandini Troisi points out, in a catalogue of the loom weights from the Museo Archeologico Provinciale di Bari, we have literary evidence that describes the dedication by women of an array of household objects ‘including wool combs, shuttles, baskets and thread’ alongside spindle whorls and loom weights.54

  • 55 These excavations were published in Rainini, 1985. For recent work on the sanctuary, including a di (...)
  • 56 Rainini, 2008, p. 230-36.
  • 57 This is attested by a tile inscribed in Oscan with a dedication to Mephitis Aravina, now missing fr (...)

14My case study for loom weights as votive dedications is the Samnite sanctuary at Valle d’Ansanto, located in the territory of the Samnite Hirpini. Excavation at Valle d’Ansanto has revealed evidence for several structures including an altar, walkway, and portico.55 Although architectural terracottas have been found on a nearby hill, suggesting the presence of a temple, no such structure has yet been located.56 The focal point of the site and the cult, however, is a sulphurous pool that to this day boils and bubbles, emitting a powerful and deadly stench. The main deity worshipped at the site was the goddess Mephitis.57

  • 58 This deposit was published by Rainini, et al.,1976.
  • 59 Rainini, et al.,1976, p. 494, nos. 976-1109. A sole spindle whorl was also found in the deposit, fu (...)
  • 60 Rainini, et al.,1976, p. 494, nos. 976-83.

15The strongest evidence for cult activity at Valle d’Ansanto comes from the large and diverse votive deposit found near the mouth of the stream leading to the sulphurous lake.58 Over 1000 objects have been recovered, including bronze, clay, and wooden figurines, pottery, jewellery, lamps, and coins. Most of the figurines are dated to between the 5th and 3rd centuries on stylistic grounds. Included in this deposit are 134 loom weights.59 Given their findspot amongst votive figurines and pottery types (many unguentari) that are known to be dedicatory, and the natural inhospitableness of the area to women spending time there weaving, I think that these loom weights clearly have a votive function. The 134 loom weights from Valle d’Ansanto are all of the truncated pyramidal or truncated conical forms. Eight of the loom weights are decorated.60

4. Decorated loom weights

  • 61 It may be that the habit of decorating the top of the loom weight derives from domestic usage, beca (...)
  • 62 For Pomarico Vecchio, see Barra Bagnasco, 1992-1993, p. 216, fig. 53, nos. 127, 128. For Favale, se (...)
  • 63 For Capua, see Pesetti, 1994, fig. xx, nos. 1, 4. For the Heraion, see Zancani Montuoro, 1966,
    pl. (...)
  • 64 For these loom weights, see Dotta, 1989.

16The most common forms of decoration on a loom weight are simple patterns of incised lines or dots, or impressed circular or oval stamps that may be gem impressions or the imprints from metal signet rings. Decoration is found on the top or sides of the loom weight.61 It must be stressed that the presence of decoration is not, in itself, indicative of a sacred purpose (an exception being direct reference to a deity, discussed below). Many examples of decorated loom weights from southern Italy are found in domestic contexts, in both Magna Graecian and Italic settlements. Indeed, there is not a clear difference in the type of decoration found in sacred or domestic contexts, nor between colonial or Italic sites. For instance, pyramidal loom weights found at Pomarico Vecchio, an Italic habitation site in Lucania, have a similar stamped star pattern as does a discoidal example from the sacred site at Favale in the chora of Metaponto.62 Many loom weights are decorated with a dotted or incised cross motif, such as examples from Capua or from the Heraion at Foce del Sele discussed above where they may have been used for sacred weaving.63 Over 1000 loom weights, some of which are decorated, have been recovered from excavated houses at Locri, attesting to wool working in the home.64 In general, there seems to be considerable similarity between the decorative motifs used across different settlements and areas.

  • 65 For drawings of imprints, see Dotta, 1989, pl. XL.
  • 66 Dotta, 1989, fig. XXXIX, no. 277.
  • 67 Orlandini, 1953, pl. I, no. 6.
  • 68 Barra Bagnasco, 1992-1993, p. 214-16, figs. 52 and 53, no. 128.
  • 69 For the foot decoration, see Liseno, 2004, fig. XXXId. For the anthropomorphised examples, see Orla (...)
  • 70 Dotta, 1989, p. 200, n. 111.

17The stamped imprints found on loom weights cover a wide range of motifs from natural forms such as leaves, flowers, or pomegranates, to mythological figures.65 An example from Locri is decorated with a gem impression of a satyr playing a lyre,66 while a loom weight from Gela is imprinted eight times with the same gem, depicting an Eros and an amphora.67 This repetition of the same design several times on a single loom weight is relatively common.68 Some loom weights reference the human form, such as an example from the sanctuary at Favale, which has a tiny imprint of a foot, or two cases from Gela and from Pomarico Vecchio where the loom weight itself is anthropomorphised through the addition of facial features.69 Loom weights found in the same context can be decorated with a wide variety of motifs.70 One does not seem to find ‘sets’ of loom weights with matching designs.

  • 71 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986.
  • 72 Gleba, 2008, p. 137, citing Mingazzini, 1974, p. 220. Although loom weights could be ‘home-made’, t (...)
  • 73 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986, p. 93.
  • 74 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986, p. 94-95.

18Loom weights can also be stamped or incised with words or letters. These tend to be more common in the Greek colonies. Ferrandini Troisi published 25 examples of mainly discoidal loom weights with Greek inscriptions from the archaeological museum in Bari, most of which are provenanced from Taranto.71 These have been interpreted in a variety of ways, most commonly as makers’ marks or the name of the owner (many of the names are female).72 It has also been suggested that these letters indicate the order in which the threads should be woven in various textile patterns, or that the marked loom weight was left attached to the finished cloth to indicate the maker or the quality.73 Some inscriptions may be shorthand for the weight of the loom weight, or even the weight or dimensions of the finished cloth.74

  • 75 Gleba, 2009a, p. 73-74.
  • 76 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986, p. 97; p. 104, no. 8, fig. 9; p. 106-107, no. 12, figs. 14, 15.
  • 77 Di Vita, 1956, p. 43, pl. XV, no. 5; Barber, 1992, p. 106-107 and p. 151, no. 12.
  • 78 Lloyd 1995a, p. 200, p. 204, fig. 78; Lloyd highlights connections between Larinum and Apulia. For (...)
  • 79 Lloyd, 1995a, p. 204.
  • 80 A loom weight in the J. Paul Getty Museum (inv. no. 82.AD.116.1), dating to the 4th-3rd centuries, (...)

19Decoration is itself not indicative of a votive purpose, although, as stated above, some types of decoration directly reference the divine. Given that these markings are often made before firing, these loom weights may have been intended for use ultimately as votives. There are a number of loom weights from southern Italy inscribed with the name or abbreviation of a deity, or a stamped representation.75 For example, loom weights with stamps of Herakles, or one perhaps inscribed ‘Hera’.76 As might be expected, some loom weights depict or reference Athena, such as a remarkable loom weight from Taranto, which shows an owl with human hands spinning.77 Lloyd notes loom weights found near Larinum that show the head of Athena (wearing a plumed ‘Samnite’ helmet very similar to that seen on an antefix from Apulia), while others have an impressed star motif.78 The star is commonly found on loom weights in domestic and sacred contexts, and at both Italic and Greek sites. Interestingly, Lloyd comments that both the head of Athena and the star motif are ‘devices which feature prominently in the iconography of the early coinage of Larinum’.79 Indeed, another example of a shared design between early coinage and loom weights is the motif of the sheaf of grain, which appears on coins from Metaponto and on loom weights.80 In a similar way as the images on coins served to represent the city that coined them, the designs on loom weights left attached to cloth could serve as a marker of origin, like a brand name, perhaps increasing the value of the cloth.

5. Interpretations

  • 81 Rainini, et al., 1976, p. 494, nos. 979, 981.
  • 82 Rainini, et al., 1976, p. 494, no. 977.
  • 83 Rainini, et al., 1976, p. 494, nos. 980 and 982, and 978.

20Returning to the eight decorated loom weights from Valle d’Ansanto, we find an example with a cross motif and one with a star impressed on the side, similar to examples from the Heraion at Foce del Sele and Pomarico Vecchio.81 Another poorly preserved example has traces of an incised inscription.82 Then there are two examples with the same circular imprint of a dolphin on the top surface of the loom weight, probably a gem impression, while another has an imprint of two fibulae on opposite sides.83

  • 84 For example, architectural terracottas with dolphins have been found at the sacred site of Monte Pa (...)
  • 85 Nava, Cracolici, 2006, p. 107, fig. 8.
  • 86 The British Museum, inv. no. 1881.0514.8.

21The dolphin stamps form an interesting link to dolphin iconography found on architectural terracottas, mosaics, and pottery at other sites in Samnium and Apulia, and could be connected to the worship of Aphrodite, Dionysos, or even Mephitis.84 A tondo showing a dolphin rider has been found at Rossano di Vaglio, another Mephitis sanctuary in Lucania.85 Or the dolphin might indicate a link to Taranto, a place famed for its wool working, through the myth of the city’s founder and the iconography of the dolphin rider. A loom weight in the British Museum with a design of two dolphins is said to be from Taranto (figure 3).86

  • 87 For the symbolic connection between fibulae and personal adornment and dress, and in turn, social s (...)
  • 88 Sartoris, 1997, p. 229.
  • 89 Sartoris, 1997, pl. 93 presents a table of the decorative motifs on loom weights. Erotes also appea (...)
  • 90 Lissi Caronna et al., 1990-1991, p. 280, fig. 105, nos. 1, 2, 3; p. 283, fig. 108, nos. 32, 33, 34, (...)
  • 91 Sartoris, 1997, pl. 92, no. 18 and pl. 93, no. 13.
  • 92 Cougle, 2009, p. 59.

22The fibulae impressions on the Valle d’Ansanto loom weights, apart from a direct link to the fastening of woven cloth, may represent in particular the realm of female personal adornment and dress.87 The fibula design appears quite often on loom weights, it seems to be found in particular at Italic sites in Lucania and Samnium.88 At Pomarico Vecchio, the fibula is one of the most common decorations, appearing on four out of 32 loom weights with identifiable decoration.89 Similarly, there are several examples from a domestic context at Oppido Lucano, including loom weights where the fibula is shown in conjunction with tweezers (figure 4).90 The fibula and tweezers appear to be joined, as if in a toiletry set. Tweezers also appear separately, such as in two examples from Pomarico Vecchio.91 These items have a strong personal as well as practical importance, as can be inferred by their frequent inclusion in burials both on the body of the deceased and among the grave goods.92

  • 93 The extensive funerary evidence for the offering of fibulae and tweezers, and for weaving implement (...)
  • 94 Barber, 2007. For representations of women engaged in wool working on Greek pottery, see Bundrick, (...)
  • 95 Gleba, 2007, p. 72.

23Although fibulae and tweezers are not gender-specific to women (men and children are commonly found with these items in funerary contexts), I think that these motifs provide additional symbolism specific to female concerns when taken in conjunction with the strong female association of the loom weight itself.93 The connection between women and weaving is well attested in literary and archaeological evidence from diverse time periods and across cultures in Greece and Italy, and therefore seems to have been relatively ubiquitous in Greek, Italic, Etruscan, and Roman cultures.94 Both Penelope waiting at her loom for Odysseus, and centuries later, Lucretia quietly weaving at home are models of faithfulness and piety. Closer in time and place to the material under discussion here are scenes on tomb paintings from Lucanian Paestum (contemporary with the loom weights found at the Heraion at Foce del Sele) that depict women spooling thread, and show the presence of woven fabric. Although these scenes are problematic for identifying a woman’s perspective, being found in the tombs of men opposite scenes of armour or the departing warrior, they do attest to the cultural importance of the wool-working woman, even as an idealised figure. Given this range of evidence, I think that it is reasonable to suppose that women were the majority of the dedicators of loom weights.95

  • 96 Gleba, 2009a, p. 71, table 1.

24In addition, as Valle d’Ansanto demonstrates, a sanctuary does not have to be sacred to a deity explicitly associated with weaving to be the recipient of loom weights. The range of deities at whose sanctuaries loom weights have been found is striking: alongside Athena, Hera, Demeter, and Aphrodite are also Apollo and Herakles, and even Mephitis.96 This diverse list suggests that the choice of loom weights as offerings lay less in their connection to a particular deity, than in their ability to make a statement about the women dedicating them.

  • 97 For helmets from the Samnite sanctuary at Pietrabbondante, see Tagliamonte, 1990, p. 528; Stek, 200 (...)
  • 98 As these items could also do in a funerary context, see Gleba, 2009b.

25In fact, I think we can see in the votive dedication of loom weights a practice of offering objects symbolic of women’s work that parallels a male practice of dedicating tools, military items, and small bronze warrior figurines at sanctuaries.97 These offerings reflect and symbolise men’s work in the fields and as craftsmen, and their role as mercenaries and warriors. In the same way, loom weights and other items associated with textile production, such as spindle whorls, bone needles, spools, and the woven cloth itself, were dedicated at sanctuaries as symbols of female skill and pride in their work, and to represent their work in the home as weavers.98

  • 99 On the kourotrophos type, see Ammerman, 2002, p. 128-30. There are four examples in the Valle d’Ans (...)
  • 100 On the ‘Tanagra’ type, see Higgins, 1986.
  • 101 Rainini et al., 1976, p. 502. For the dedication of jewellery in sanctuaries, see Guzzo, 1998.

26Furthermore, loom weights offered women an alternative means of self-representation in the sanctuary that emphasised production and personal skill, as opposed to, or alongside, other dedications that might instead highlight motherhood, marriage, or feminine beauty. At Valle d’Ansanto, then, we find a range of votives that represent, or were probably dedicated by, women. For instance, the clay kourotrophos figurine, which depicts a female holding a child or several children, represents the woman as mother.99 The standing draped female clay figurine (the so-called ‘Tanagra’ type) presents a more complex image.100 On the one hand, these very popular votives focus on the act of dedication, with most figurines holding gifts or attributes associated with particular deities. On the other hand, the variations in hairstyle, jewellery, and drapery amongst the figurines suggest a concern with a more individualised representation of feminine beauty. At Valle d’Ansanto, Tanagra-style figurines make up a large proportion of the deposit. Finally, jewellery is also a common dedication in Italic sanctuaries; the deposit from Valle d’Ansanto contains some items of very high quality, such as an intricately carved amber necklace, golden earrings and a fragmentary gold diadem.101

6. Conclusions

  • 102 The use of gem impressions or coin stamps for decoration may also argue for the loom weight being v (...)

27The evidence from Valle d’Ansanto presents an example of loom weights being used as votive dedications, rather than in sacred weaving. While the decoration on a loom weight does not necessarily correlate with a sacred purpose, I think that the examples from Valle d’Ansanto showing dolphins and fibulae could have been chosen for their additional symbolism. The dolphin designs were perhaps connected to Mephitis, or to textiles from Taranto, while the fibulae reinforced a link to cloth, and a connotation of personal adornment, care in dress, and correspondingly higher social status. Thus, the decoration on loom weights could play a role in transforming a common household item into a fitting offering.102

  • 103 Larsson Lovén, 2007; Barber, 2007. For the suggestion that the young women weaving the peplos for A (...)

28Yet loom weights in themselves should not be seen as merely low value dedications. The discounting of loom weights as cheap or casual offerings under-values the female dedicators in sanctuaries and the form and significance of their dedications. While weaving was an everyday activity, it could also be highly valued and associated with elite female behaviour, as can be inferred through many of the representations of, and literary sources concerning, women engaged in the task.103 As symbols of this activity, therefore, loom weights offered women an alternative means of self-definition in a sanctuary context, one that emphasised skill and production.

  • 104 Campanelli, Faustoferri, 1997, p. 109, 126, 129.

29The evidence for weaving in a sacred context from the Heraion at Foce del Sele and Francavilla Marittima, which I think both show a strong Italic aspect independent of or co-existent with Greek practice, provides a framework in which to consider the phenomenon of the dedication of votive loom weights at the Samnite sanctuary of Valle d’Ansanto (although one must obviously be wary of generalising across Italic peoples). Loom weights are found at other Samnite sanctuaries, such as Schiavi d’Abruzzo, Vacri, and Fonte San Nicola, where the proportion of imported Greek material is much lower than at Valle d’Ansanto, and I think that these finds should also be regarded as votive dedications.104

30Of course, the lifespan of a loom weight may have encompassed multiple functions ending in dedication, burial in a tomb, or storage in a sanctuary. The objects found in so many Italic and Greek sanctuaries across southern Italy and offered to a variety of deities, however, surely had an importance to the dedicators that surpassed mere convenience, and were chosen by the women themselves as symbols of what for many women would have been (or they wanted to suggest was) a main occupation: the preparation and weaving of cloth.

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Annexe

Figure 1. Map of southern Italy. Drawing: author.

Figure 1. Map of southern Italy. Drawing: author.

Figure 2. Lekythos attributed to the Amasis Painter, showing women weaving at a warp-weighted loom. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1931 (31.11.10).

Figure 2. Lekythos attributed to the Amasis Painter, showing women weaving at a warp-weighted loom. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1931 (31.11.10).

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY.

Figure 3. Loom weight showing two dolphins (c. 350-300 BCE), London, British Museum, 1881.0514.8.

Figure 3. Loom weight showing two dolphins (c. 350-300 BCE), London, British Museum, 1881.0514.8.

© Trustees of the British Museum.

Figure 4. Loom weights with fibula and tweezers design. After Lissi Caronna et al., 1990-1991, p. 280, fig. 105, nos. 1, 2, 3, p. 283, fig. 108, no. 35.

Figure 4. Loom weights with fibula and tweezers design. After Lissi Caronna et al., 1990-1991, p. 280, fig. 105, nos. 1, 2, 3, p. 283, fig. 108, no. 35.
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Notes

2 All dates hence are BCE unless otherwise noted.

3 It is often stated that sheep-farming was a major economy of the Apennine areas (especially Samnium and Apulia) in the pre-Roman period (e.g. Salmon, 1967; Lloyd, 1995a, p. 203-204; for debate see Crawford, 2005), and the practice of transhumance has been linked to religious phenomenon such as the popularity of Hercules figurines (fundamentally by di Niro, 1977) and the presence of rural sanctuaries. Nonetheless, few scholars to date have examined the material evidence of the wool working and cloth production that must have been one of the main trades in the region (except, importantly, D’Ercole, 2002). Recent research is making use of the archaeological evidence for textile production in exciting ways, notably the work by Margarita Gleba (for example, Gleba, 2009a, to which I am greatly indebted), and Lin Foxhall in her project on ‘Weaving relationships: loomweights and cross-cultural networks in the ancient Mediterranean’ (http://www.tracingnetworks.ac.uk/content/web/weaving_relationships.jsp), which includes a digital loom weight library.

4 For a clear and detailed discussion of the evidence for ancient weaving, see Gleba, 2008. The warp-weighted loom was used at least until the early Imperial period (Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943, p. 70-71 discuss Greek literary evidence for a shift away from this type of loom in the second century CE; for a similar shift in Italy, see Lloyd, 1995b, p. 244-45 citing Wild, 1970, p. 67).

5 For further description and illustration of the warp-weighted loom, see Barber, 1992, p. 109, fig. 68; Wild, 1970, p. 61-68; Gleba, 2008, p. 122, fig. 86.

6 For the discoidal form, see fig. 3; for the truncated pyramidal form, see fig. 4. Loom weights range in size, but are generally between 5 and 10 cm in height (or diameter for the discoidal form).

7 Sartoris, 1997, p. 227, n. 2 in a report on the Italic site of Pomarico Vecchio, observes that 87% of the 189 loom weights found there are pyramidal, and only 10% discoidal. Liseno, 2004, p. 67 observes that the pyramidal loom weights found at Favale outside Metaponto date earlier (6th to 5th centuries) than the discoidal ones (after the mid 4th century). In general, loom weights are difficult to date without a stratigraphic archaeological context as they remained in use for a long time with few stylistic changes. Dotta, in her study of the loom weights found at Locri, concludes that the truncated pyramidal loom weight with one suspension hole was the most common form in the 6th and 5th centuries across southern Italy, as well as at Locri itself (Dotta, 1989, p. 188-89).

8 Suggested by Dotta, 1989, p. 201, on the basis of loom weights found at Locri.

9 See Dotta, 1989, p. 185-86, n. 5 for a review of this debate.

10 Orlandini, 1953. On the term oscilla used to describe loom weights, see also Dotta, 1989, p. 187, n. 10. For a summary of other explanations put forth for the function of the loom weight see Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943, p. 65-66.

11 Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943; di Vita, 1956.

12 Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943, p. 67-69 cite the red-figured skyphos from Chiusi, dated to the mid-5th century, showing Penelope sitting at her loom (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, 1831; for an excellent drawing of the vase, see Barber, 1992, p. 104, fig. 63) and a vase from Baltimore (C.V.A. Robinson Collection I, III G, pl. XVIII, 2a) as well as the Amasis Painter lekythos I discuss. Di Vita notes there are ‘at least seven’ vases with representations of looms and loom weights, including the three just mentioned (di Vita, 1956, p. 41, n. 2). For a recent analysis of scenes of all aspects of wool working on painted pottery, see Bundrick, 2008, esp. p. 286-94.

13 This vase is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 31.11.10; ABV, 154, no. 57.

14 Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943, p. 68, fig. 30; they note that the loom weight is decorated with a stamp of a woman spinning (ibid., p. 68, n. 57, citing G.M. Crowfoot in BSA, 37, 1936-1937, p. 43). See also, Di Vita, 1956, p. 42, n. 4 and pl. XV no. 2.

15 Davidson, Burr Thompson, 1943, p. 68.

16 Serritella, 1990, p. 162, fig. 275a; Gleba, 2008, p. 127, fig. 92.

17 See Gleba, 2009a, p. 71-72, table 1, for Italian votive deposits containing loom weights.

18 This is the main argument of Gleba, 2009a (see esp. p. 81). For loom weights as votives, see Liseno, 2004, p. 67.

19 Gleba, 2009a, p. 77.

20 For a general overview of this festival, termed the peplophoria, see Mansfield, 1985 and Barber, 1992. Barber, following Mansfield, suggests that men were also involved in the weaving process, creating a separate peplos for the larger Panathenaia held every fourth year. Connelly, 1996, discusses the possible depiction of scenes of the peplophoria on the Parthenon. See also Aleshire, Lambert, 2003, for epigraphic evidence for the weaving of the peplos, and a discussion of the names of the different groups involved and the tasks they performed. Much about the purpose and practice of the festival is still not clearly understood (Connelley, 1996, p. 77-78, n. 157).

21 Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.16.2; 5.16.2; 6.24.10. Aleshire, Lambert, 2003, p. 71-72; Gleba, 2009a, p. 77-78.

22 Aleshire, Lambert, 2003, p. 71.

23 Gleba, 2009a, p. 78. In other cases, however, cloth woven at home is given as a gift to the gods. In the Iliad, Hecuba is instructed to pick one of her most richly woven and favourite garments to give to Athena, Iliad, 6, 87-92 and 269-96 (Aleshire, Lambert, 2003, p. 71). As Connelly rightly observes only a relatively small number of cases of ritual weaving at a sanctuary are actually attested, namely the four examples above (Connelly, 1996, p. 78, n. 161).

24 I use the name ‘Paestum’ rather than ‘Poseidonia’ because I am considering the settlement under Lucanian occupation as well as during the Greek period. This is also in keeping with my general practice of using the modern Italian name for ancient sites and settlements.

25 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 223-24.

26 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 224. For recent work on the (probably peaceful) Lucanian take-over of Paestum, see among others Wonder, 2002; Crawford, 2006; Isayev, 2007.

27 This building measures 12 x 12m.

28 Zancani Montuoro, 1966, p. 78.

29 Gleba, 2009a, p. 79, n. 30.

30 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225; Gleba, 2009a, p. 79-80.

31 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225: … dovremmo immaginare, nell’edificio quadrato, la presenze di tre or quattro telai funzionali ad una vera e propria attivita di tessitura funzionale ad un rito molto specifico e ben attestato in tutti i santuari di Era, e non solo, che e quello della peplophoria.’ (my translation above). Although it is uncertain, the authors suggest that each loom may have required 70-80 loom weights.

32 Votive dedications were commonly placed into storage or ritually re-buried at sanctuary sites, because space had run out in the areas of primary dedication. On this practice, see Glinister, 2000.

33 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225.

34 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225.

35 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 225.

36 Maaskant Kleibrink, 1993, p. 11; Kleibrink, 2001, p. 50-53, figs. 8.2, 10.

37 The standing female dedicator type of votive offering is thoroughly discussed by Ammerman, 2002, esp. p. 71-73 and p. 134-36.

38 Maaskant Kleibrink, 1993, p. 17, fig. 15; Maaskant Kleibrink, 2000, p. 174-75, fig. 92; Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 45-48; Gleba, 2009a, p. 78-79.

39 Kleibrink, 2001, p. 49: ‘the calibrated radiocarbon date for the stratum with the loom weights is circa 850BC’. For a discussion of the finds from this necropolis, see Maaskant Kleibrink, 2000, p. 166-71.

40 Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 46, 48.

41 Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 48-52.

42 Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 52.

43 Maaskant Kleibrink, 2000, p. 177, 181; Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 52. The fundamental work on the concept of the frontier sanctuary is De Polignac, 1984; see also De Polignac, 1994.

44 Kleibrink, 2001, p. 51 describes this period as ‘truly colonial’. However, Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 55-64 present a more nuanced case that I think argues for continued native patronage of the site.

45 Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 55-61.

46 For discussion of the inscription, see Kleibrink et al., 2004, p. 61.

47 Kleibrink, 2001, p. 55.

48 Purcell, 2005, esp. p. 124-30. Interestingly, Purcell comments that ‘It is clear that it will never be possible sensibly to classify the sanctuary at Francavilla as Greek or indigenous’ (p. 126). In general, see Curti et al., 1996, p. 181-85; Dench, 1997; Dench, 2003.

49 Greco, de La Genière, 1996, p. 226.

50 Mingazzini, 1974, p. 204-206.

51 Johannowsky, et al., 1983, p. 301.

52 Perishable items are very rarely visible in the archaeological record, and are therefore under-represented. As Glinister, 2006, p. 28 contends: ‘Ancient eyes did not view terracotta as inherently poor-quality, cheap, or lower class.’

53 A classic study on the value of objects is Appadurai, 1986. Gleba, 2009a, p. 74: ‘The low intrinsic value of a loom weight ... is not a sufficient reason for it being unsuitable as a votive gift, since, as in the case of the textile implements found in funerary contexts, it is the symbolic significance of the object that made it an ex voto par excellence.’ See also, Dotta, 1989, p. 186.

54 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986, p. 97-98, cited also by Gleba, 2009a, p. 74, n. 14, n. 15. Palatine Anthology, VI, 39, 47, 48. 160, 174, 247, 284, 285, 288.

55 These excavations were published in Rainini, 1985. For recent work on the sanctuary, including a digital reconstruction of the site, see Mele, 2008.

56 Rainini, 2008, p. 230-36.

57 This is attested by a tile inscribed in Oscan with a dedication to Mephitis Aravina, now missing from the site (Rainini, 1985, 118). Also, by Virgil, Aeneid, 7.563-71 and Pliny, Natural History, II, 208. For a comprehensive list of ancient literary references to the sanctuary at Valle d’Ansanto, see Carfora, 2008.

58 This deposit was published by Rainini, et al.,1976.

59 Rainini, et al.,1976, p. 494, nos. 976-1109. A sole spindle whorl was also found in the deposit, further reinforcing the idea that the loom weight in particular was chosen as a dedication, while other tools were less common dedications (ibid., p. 494, no. 1110).

60 Rainini, et al.,1976, p. 494, nos. 976-83.

61 It may be that the habit of decorating the top of the loom weight derives from domestic usage, because the weaver would look down on the loom weights from above, whether hanging on the loom or stored on the ground.

62 For Pomarico Vecchio, see Barra Bagnasco, 1992-1993, p. 216, fig. 53, nos. 127, 128. For Favale, see Liseno, 2004, fig. XXXIc.

63 For Capua, see Pesetti, 1994, fig. xx, nos. 1, 4. For the Heraion, see Zancani Montuoro, 1966,
pl. XVI.

64 For these loom weights, see Dotta, 1989.

65 For drawings of imprints, see Dotta, 1989, pl. XL.

66 Dotta, 1989, fig. XXXIX, no. 277.

67 Orlandini, 1953, pl. I, no. 6.

68 Barra Bagnasco, 1992-1993, p. 214-16, figs. 52 and 53, no. 128.

69 For the foot decoration, see Liseno, 2004, fig. XXXId. For the anthropomorphised examples, see Orlandini, 1953, no. 7, and Barra Bagnasco, 1992-1993, p. 214-16, figs. 52 and 53, no. 137, where one can clearly see the holes on the side indicating use as a loom weight.

70 Dotta, 1989, p. 200, n. 111.

71 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986.

72 Gleba, 2008, p. 137, citing Mingazzini, 1974, p. 220. Although loom weights could be ‘home-made’, these objects may often have been made as a side-product in clay workshops, suggested by the presence of the same letters and marks on loom weights and on amphorae stands from Locri (Barra Bagnasco, 1989, p. 21, n. 98).

73 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986, p. 93.

74 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986, p. 94-95.

75 Gleba, 2009a, p. 73-74.

76 Ferrandini Troisi, 1986, p. 97; p. 104, no. 8, fig. 9; p. 106-107, no. 12, figs. 14, 15.

77 Di Vita, 1956, p. 43, pl. XV, no. 5; Barber, 1992, p. 106-107 and p. 151, no. 12.

78 Lloyd 1995a, p. 200, p. 204, fig. 78; Lloyd highlights connections between Larinum and Apulia. For the Apulian antefix, found at the Daunian settlement of Teate, see Antonacci Sanpaolo, 2001, p. 184, fig. 5.

79 Lloyd, 1995a, p. 204.

80 A loom weight in the J. Paul Getty Museum (inv. no. 82.AD.116.1), dating to the 4th-3rd centuries, is decorated with the impression of a Metapontine coin with a wheat-sheaf design.

81 Rainini, et al., 1976, p. 494, nos. 979, 981.

82 Rainini, et al., 1976, p. 494, no. 977.

83 Rainini, et al., 1976, p. 494, nos. 980 and 982, and 978.

84 For example, architectural terracottas with dolphins have been found at the sacred site of Monte Pallano in the Abruzzo; for these, and further discussion of dolphin iconography, see Kane, 2006.

85 Nava, Cracolici, 2006, p. 107, fig. 8.

86 The British Museum, inv. no. 1881.0514.8.

87 For the symbolic connection between fibulae and personal adornment and dress, and in turn, social status, see Cougle, 2009, esp. p. 56-57, 59-63.

88 Sartoris, 1997, p. 229.

89 Sartoris, 1997, pl. 93 presents a table of the decorative motifs on loom weights. Erotes also appear four times.

90 Lissi Caronna et al., 1990-1991, p. 280, fig. 105, nos. 1, 2, 3; p. 283, fig. 108, nos. 32, 33, 34, 35.

91 Sartoris, 1997, pl. 92, no. 18 and pl. 93, no. 13.

92 Cougle, 2009, p. 59.

93 The extensive funerary evidence for the offering of fibulae and tweezers, and for weaving implements, falls outside of the scope of this article, but would certainly provide valuable comparisons.

94 Barber, 2007. For representations of women engaged in wool working on Greek pottery, see Bundrick, 2008. For Etruscan evidence, see Haynes, 2000, p. 39-41, fig. 29b for a 7th century wooden throne from Verucchio showing scenes of women spinning and weaving; see also p. 359-60 for weaving as the ‘privilege of upper-class women in earlier periods of Etruscan civilization’. For the importance of wool working in Roman constructions of the ideal wife, see Larsson Lovén, 2007.

95 Gleba, 2007, p. 72.

96 Gleba, 2009a, p. 71, table 1.

97 For helmets from the Samnite sanctuary at Pietrabbondante, see Tagliamonte, 1990, p. 528; Stek, 2009, p. 39. For belts, helmets, spear-heads, horse-bits and a miniature cart from Rossano di Vaglio, see Adamesteanu, 1971, p. 44-45. For bronze warriors from Valle d’Ansanto, see Rainini et al., 1976, p. 367-373, nos. 1-7, figs. 2-4.

98 As these items could also do in a funerary context, see Gleba, 2009b.

99 On the kourotrophos type, see Ammerman, 2002, p. 128-30. There are four examples in the Valle d’Ansanto deposit: Rainini et al., 1976, p. 398-400, 455-56, nos. 43, 44, 178, 180.

100 On the ‘Tanagra’ type, see Higgins, 1986.

101 Rainini et al., 1976, p. 502. For the dedication of jewellery in sanctuaries, see Guzzo, 1998.

102 The use of gem impressions or coin stamps for decoration may also argue for the loom weight being valued by its owner.

103 Larsson Lovén, 2007; Barber, 2007. For the suggestion that the young women weaving the peplos for Athena in Athens were of high status, as if participating in an apprenticeship for elite girls to learn textile skills, see Aleshire, Lambert, 2003, p. 85.

104 Campanelli, Faustoferri, 1997, p. 109, 126, 129.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Map of southern Italy. Drawing: author.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2155/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 80k
Titre Figure 2. Lekythos attributed to the Amasis Painter, showing women weaving at a warp-weighted loom. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Fletcher Fund, 1931 (31.11.10).
Crédits © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource, NY.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2155/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 364k
Titre Figure 3. Loom weight showing two dolphins (c. 350-300 BCE), London, British Museum, 1881.0514.8.
Crédits © Trustees of the British Museum.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2155/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 400k
Titre Figure 4. Loom weights with fibula and tweezers design. After Lissi Caronna et al., 1990-1991, p. 280, fig. 105, nos. 1, 2, 3, p. 283, fig. 108, no. 35.
URL http://pallas.revues.org/docannexe/image/2155/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 221k
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Alexandra Sofroniew, « Women’s work: The dedication of loom weights in the sanctuaries of southern Italy », Pallas, 86 | 2011, 291-209.

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Alexandra Sofroniew, « Women’s work: The dedication of loom weights in the sanctuaries of southern Italy », Pallas [En ligne], 86 | 2011, mis en ligne le 30 octobre 2011, consulté le 28 mars 2017. URL : http://pallas.revues.org/2155 ; DOI : 10.4000/pallas.2155

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Auteur

Alexandra Sofroniew

Assistant Curator
The J. Paul Getty Museum
alexandra.sofroniew@gmail.com

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Pallas – Revue d'études antiques est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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