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Wrinkle-free Clothing: Conservation and Rehousing of Prehistoric Cotton Textiles from Navajo, Walnut Canyon, and Wupatki National Monuments, Arizona

Author(s): Erin Gearty ; Rachel Freer-Waters ; Gwenn Gallenstein

Year: 2016

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Summary

In 2014 the Flagstaff Area National Monuments received funding to conserve and re-house more than 300 non-burial related prehistoric cotton textiles from Navajo, Walnut Canyon, and Wupatki National Monuments housed at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA). The textiles were woven in the 1100s A.D. and range from expediently constructed objects to technologically complex clothing with dyes. These prehistoric remnants of cloth were excavated by archaeologists in the 1930s and 1960s, and many remained in the crumpled state in which they were found. Many fragments also still had soil accumulation and other debris from the excavation site, and due to creasing, they could not be adequately studied or fully viewed. The project included conservation treatments, as needed, and designing of storage systems that provide preventive care for the textiles. Conservation was undertaken with care to preserve any potential material that might be valuable during scientific analysis, and balance those interests with the preservation of each piece. In this presentation we discuss how the project was completed, and provide an analysis of the textiles from Wupatki and Walnut Canyon National Monuments.


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Wrinkle-free Clothing: Conservation and Rehousing of Prehistoric Cotton Textiles from Navajo, Walnut Canyon, and Wupatki National Monuments, Arizona. Erin Gearty, Rachel Freer-Waters, Gwenn Gallenstein. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403693)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America