Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Dall'antica Pompei un tessuto resistente quanto un giubbotto antiproiettile

Here's a curious tale from the Corriere del Mezzogiorno. Italian archaeologists digging at Pompeii have discovered fragments of cloth that they believe were soft and durable enough to be comparable to modern flak jackets!

3 comments:

Miko Flohr said...

This sounds very curious indeed. If I understand the article well, they have analyzed a textile (or remains of it) found during earlier excavations at Pompeii and on the basis of that analysis, which returned the result that it was made of broom (?), they have labelled as "linen from Cuma". Then, they have done filological research about the textile qualities of this "linen from Cuma" and have concluded that it was both soft and very strong. So if I am correct, the whole story about the bullet-proof character of the material does not come directly from the actual analysis of the material itself, but from a traditional analysis of textual sources that have no direct relationship or whatsoever with the textile found at Pompeii. I don't really know what to think of this, actually.
Nevertheless, I think the good news is that there are people doing this kind of scientific analysis. Pompeian textiles - however fragmentary they are - may have a lot to offer to us, but compared to the study of textiles from elsewhere in the Roman world it lags behind.

Massimo Betello said...

The funny things is that prof. Apicella says that according to the textual sources the textile could resist to the impact of wild boar. And then he says that it is as strong as a bullet proof textile ... Have they ever shot a wild boar against a bullet proof vest? Ah ah ah!
Non consequential connections are funny sometimes.

Jo Berry said...

Check out the discussion on Rogue Classicism - http://rogueclassicism.com/2010/06/09/linothorax-from-pompeii/

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