First characterization of a Bronze Age textile fibre from Sardinia (Italy)

Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2022 Jan 15;265:120398. doi: 10.1016/j.saa.2021.120398. Epub 2021 Sep 16.


This paper describes a case study of a linen yarn found inside a spiral bronze necklace fragment during an excavation campaign in la Prisgiona, a Nuragic settlement, near Arzachena, in north-east Sardinia. The site is one of the most interesting settlements of the Nuragic period. Abandoned after a fire, it was no longer inhabited, thus allowing the preservation of the Nuragic stratigraphy. The necklace fragments are part of a votive burial and the yarn is the only known textile material belonging to the Bronze Age period from Sardinia. The uniqueness of the finding, in the rare corpus of prehistoric textile materials, and the small amount of it available do not allow conventional analyses and requires a non-invasive/micro-invasive method. The protocol established to preserve as much as possible the entirety of the object, involving polarize light microscopy, portable ATR-FTIR, SEM-EDS, micro X-ray Computer Tomography and XRD, was successfully used to extend knowledge about the materials and techniques of this civilisation.

Keywords: ATR-FTIR; Bronze age yarn; Linen; Micro-CT; PLM; SEM-EDS; XRD.

Publication types

  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • History, Ancient
  • Italy
  • Textiles*