Object structure

An Early 13th Century Craft Box from Lõhavere in Estonia and Its Owner


Fasciculi Archaeologiae Historicae. Fasc. 31 (2018)


Rammo, Riina ; Ratas, Jaana


Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Polish Academy of Sciences ; Polish Academy of Sciences. Łódź Branch

Place of publishing:


Date issued/created:



ill., 29 cm

Type of object:


Subject and Keywords:

craft ; craft specialisation ; textiles ; spiral tube decorations ; 13th century ; cross crafting ; Estonia ; Lõhavere hillfort


A birch bark box was unearthed in 1958 in the L├Áhavere hillfort (Estonia). The main aim of the paper is to get closer to the initial owner of the box. The relatively well-preserved box contained jewellery, textile remains, and objects related to craft (e.g. textile tools, yarns). Special attention in the article is paid to the finds indicating production of spiral tube decorations, which were used to adorn clothing items. The authors argue that the owner was a more or less professional craftsperson living in the hillfort. Archaeologists tend to divide craft activities according to the raw materials, but the box content shows how in reality various skills, raw materials, and knowledge were needed in combination. It seems that the owner was mainly occupied with making narrow wares and clothing adornments. Possibly the owner was female, which stresses the role of female actors in the sphere of professional craft


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Fasciculi Archaeologiae Historicae



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DOI 10.23858/FAH31.2018.011


IAiE PAN, call no. P III 348 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P III 349 ; IAiE PAN, call no. P III 368 ; click here to follow the link



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Copyright-protected material. [CC BY-SA 3.0 PL] May be used within the scope specified in Creative Commons Attribution BY-SA 3.0 PL license, full text available at: ; -

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Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Library of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

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Operational Program Digital Poland, 2014-2020, Measure 2.3: Digital accessibility and usefulness of public sector information; funds from the European Regional Development Fund and national co-financing from the state budget. ; European Union. European Regional Development Fund





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