Textiles and clothing are fundamental aspects of everyday life in the past but are often overlooked in archaeology. Fortunately, this is changing, as witnessed by three new books, reviewed here. Two deal with the beginnings of clothing and textile production, but in different ways; the third contains contributions reflecting on this theme. The monograph by Ian Gilligan—a polyhistory of medicine, psychology, prehistoric archaeology and biological anthropology—presents new theories on the emergence of clothing and textiles in a sustained argument; the two other books, edited volumes comprising 29 papers by textile specialists, each present new research on different aspects of ancient textiles and clothing. In several cases, authors disagree, enhancing the value of the debates, and adding to our understanding of the impact on society of ancient textile production and clothing.
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