Just back from Marburg in Germany, where I attended a great conference on Textile Trade and Distribution in Antiquity. The organizers from the Seminar für Alte Geschichte at Phillips Universität Marburg had gathered around 30 scholars from archaeology, history, philology, conservation and natural sciences with a common interest in textiles.
Textiles are historically important for several reasons. They represent a basic human need, but are also powerful markers of status and wealth. With light weight and high value, textiles were among the goods traded over long distances in the ancient world, despite high taxes and transport costs. When studying how textiles moved and changed hands, we tend to emphasize trade, but textiles were subject to processes such as gift-exchange, tribute, taxation and plunder, thus being important objects of redistributions. In that respect they are also very relevant to the networks studied in the NeRoNE project.
The organizers promise to publish the proceedings of the conference promptly. Meanwhile, a thorough summary by Teresa Traupe and Louisa Thomas can be viewed here.