Caroline Diemer ’18  uses experimental archaeology to explore Norse & Aegean myth

“Our Warp Bloodred, Our Weft Coarseblue”: An Exploration of Use and Mythology of the Warp-Weighted Loom in Norse Greenland and Ancient Greece

The warp-weighted loom is an upright loom that uses gravity and loom weights to tension the warp, or vertical strings, so that the weft, or horizontal strings, can be woven through. While the organic material of the cloth and loom often do not survive, the loom weights, which are made out of clay or stone, depending on the region, are present in the archaeological record. This thesis aims to gain a better understanding of loom weight material and shape impact weave structure. I will reconstruct the medieval warp-weighted loom found at the Farm Beneath the Sand (Gården Under Sandet or GUS) in the Western Settlement of Norse Greenland and will compare the affect of limestone loom weights typical of Greenland versus the clay loom weights of the Aegean. This thesis will also explore the representation of the warp-weighted loom in folklore and iconography and try to better understand the connection between weaving and war that appears in both Norse and Ancient Greek mythology. Click here for Carolyn's experimental archaeology blog about the process: