Michèle Hayeur Smith: The Valkyries' Loom

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The Institute for Northern Studies is proud to continue its seminar series of 2020/2021, in a series of online public lectures led by staff and guests. Recorded 3rd June 2021.


In this final seminar in the joint series by the Institute for Northern Studies and Culture Perth and Kinross, Michèle Hayeur Smith will present her new book "The Valkyries’s Loom: The Archaeology of Cloth Production and Female Power in the North Atlantic," University Press Florida, published in the autumn of 2020.


Michèle Hayeur Smith's new book, The Valkyries’s Loom: The Archaeology of Cloth Production and Female Power in the North Atlantic, brings together archaeological research undertaken from 2010-2019 on a vast corpus of archaeologically recovered textiles from the Viking Age (c. 750-1050), Medieval (c. 1050-1550), and Early Modern (c. 1550-1800) periods in the national museums of Iceland, Greenland, Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Scotland. Many of these textiles, ranging from fragments to complete garments, were recovered during excavations over the past century, or from current or on-going excavations, and some had never been analysed as complete corpuses, nor compared on a pan- North Atlantic level.

Her research brings Icelandic and North Atlantic Norse women and women’s work to the forefront in North Atlantic research, using them as a model for reintroducing women into archaeological research programs across the North, and contributes to global discussions about the hidden roles of women in traditional societies and their roles in guiding change and preserving tradition. By documenting and analysing women’s roles and women’s involvement in textile production it also established the foundations for a gendered archaeology of the North Atlantic.


The Valkyries’s Loom: The Archaeology of Cloth Production and Female Power in the North Atlantic, University Press Florida (Hardcover ISBN 13: 9780813066622 -Details: 236 pages, 6x9)
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