• Women's Work: The First 20, 000 Years - Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times See large image

    Women's Work: The First 20, 000 Years - Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times (Paperback) By (author) Elizabeth W. Barber

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    Description2500 years ago, the women of Athens slaved at home, virtual prisoners of their husbands, expected to provide the cloth and clothing for their family. 4000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia, there was a very different picture: respectable women were in business, weaving textiles at home to be sold abroad for gold and silver. Going back even further, 20,000 years ago women began making and wearing the first clothing created from spun fibres. Indeed, for over 20,000 years, until the Industrial Revolution, the arts of weaving belonged primarily to women and were the principal vehicle for demonstrating their various roles as mother, provider, worker, entrepreneur and artist.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Women's Work

    Women's Work
    The First 20, 000 Years - Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Elizabeth W. Barber
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 336
    Width: 140 mm
    Height: 206 mm
    Thickness: 23 mm
    Weight: 272 g
    ISBN 13: 9780393313482
    ISBN 10: 0393313484

    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 27440
    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    BIC E4L: SOC
    BIC subject category V2: HBTB, JFFK
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: S3.4
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    DC22: 305.4
    B&T General Subject: 750
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: TP090
    Ingram Theme: SEXL/FEMINE
    Ingram Subject Code: SO
    Libri: I-SO
    LC classification: HM
    B&T Approval Code: A97604200
    LC subject heading: ,
    Abridged Dewey: 305
    LC subject heading:
    BIC subject category V2: AFW
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: SOC028000
    B&T Approval Code: A14662000
    DC21: 305.4367709
    LC subject heading: , ,
    Thema V1.0: JBSF1
    New edition
    Edition statement
    New edition
    Illustrations note
    photographs, drawings
    WW Norton & Co
    Imprint name
    WW Norton & Co
    Publication date
    17 January 1996
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Review text
    Employing diverse, thorough methodologies and research sources, the author of Prehistoric Textiles (not reviewed) traces the roles of women and cloth through 20,000 years of history. Prehistoric women primarily worked with food and clothing, neither likely to survive the elements, and male historians traditionally felt little need or desire to write about cloth and textiles; thus, much of women's work history has been lost, and we are left with few details for reconstruction. However, Barber's innovative research found that "data for ancient textiles lay everywhere, waiting to be picked up." By reproducing remnants of ancient cloth and garments, she also reproduced women's actual labor, which often required hours upon hours of tedious, painstaking work. Her justification for the assumption of female responsibility for cloth rests on their childbearing and -rearing duties. Women needed to stay close to home, and they required work compatible with youngsters running around - labor that could be interrupted when necessary. According to Barber, women held important positions in society as the primary producers of clothing for millennia, even into the age of emerging capitalist economies. She also deduces, from the patterns and designs of ancient material, that clothing for both sexes served as a visual means to communicate such information as fertility and marital status. (For example, many skirt remnants hold designs assumed to follow the shape of and emphasize the pubic bone.) Although this seems a logical conclusion, there's not really any empirical evidence for it. An important contribution, in terms of both historical material and interpretation, to the study of women's work. (Kirkus Reviews)