The fabric of memory: Kültepe, a test laboratory for interdisciplinary research

The fabric of memory: Kültepe, a test laboratory for interdisciplinary research

Driven by an international and pluridisciplinary team, the Kül-TexT project seeks to carry out research on the artisan textile craft in Kültepe (Turkey), which is on Unesco’s tentative list of world heritage sites. The archeological site of Kültepe has offered up extremely valuable artifacts dating to the Bronze Age that provide scholars with an exceptional opportunity to combine textual study with multiple aspects of the material culture. Combining archeological, textual, iconographical, experimental, and ethnographical sources, this research deepens understanding of antique textile techniques, as well as the social, economic, and environmental impact of this primarily female, private production system. This pilot study will chart the course for the study of these artifacts. Its innovative interdisciplinary method can be applied to other artisanal realms – basketry, ceramics, metallurgy – at other sites from varying historical periods. In addition to scholarly publications, the importance of the research and the Unesco-listed site will be captured in a 52-minute documentary, which will preserve the memory of the traditional textile artisans who are still pursuing their craft in Anatolia, but who are nearly extinct.


Project leaders
Cécile MICHEL, Research director, ArScAn (UMR 7041)
Vanessa TUBIANA-BRUN, Engineer. Audiovisual and multimedia director, CNRS, Maison Archéologie et Ethnologie (USR 3225)

Internal cluster partners
Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité (ArScAn, UMR 7041)
Maison Archéologie et Ethnologie, René-Ginouvès (MAE, USR 3225)

Associated partners
Copenhagen University, Danemark
Centre d’Histoire « Espaces et Cultures » (EA 1001), Clermont-Ferrand
Ankara Üniversitesi, Turkey

Duration : 36 months