The Vestments of My Mysteries: Craft Production and the Ritual Economy at Iron Age Gordion

Author(s): Kathryn Morgan

Year: 2017


The Terrace Building Complex at the Iron Age site of Gordion in Turkey has been called the most complete picture of organized textile production at a Mediterranean palatial center. Artefactual analysis of the numerous textile tools discovered in the Terrace Building has provided a foundation for ambitious models of the Phrygian political economy: it’s been suggested that textiles produced in this ‘industrial quarter’ were intended as payment for the Phrygian army, or tribute. Analyses of the individual ‘workshop’ units of the Terrace Building, however, does not necessarily support the notion that the complex was built as a workshop exclusively for such politico-economic ends. Rather, the wide range and spatial arrangement of the myriad non-textile-related finds in this monumental building indicate that these were multi-purpose units. The straightforward models derived for identifying craft specialization and characterizing its relationship to social and political organization are, in the case of Gordion, insufficient. I draw on the emerging theory of the ritual economy to explore connections between the production zone of the Terrace and the wider cultural and political landscape of Early Phrygian Gordion in order to derive a more culturally embedded model for the relationship among craft activity, social capital, and economic value.

Cite this Record

The Vestments of My Mysteries: Craft Production and the Ritual Economy at Iron Age Gordion. Kathryn Morgan. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431306)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17578