Grömer, Karina, Russ-Popa, Gabriela, and Saliari, Konstantina: Products of animal skin from Antiquity to the Medieval Period. p. 69-93, 7 figs
The present study investigates the utility of animal skin from Antiquity to the Medieval Period, compiling archaeological finds, pictorial and written sources, most of which derive from Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. We suggest that skin, leather, fur, and parchment have been extensively used to fulfil multiple necessities. Animal skin was exploited to produce clothing (e. g., cloaks, shoes, gloves), working and military equipment (e. g., aprons, hats, armour), objects related to animals (bridles, saddles), household items (flasks, chests), and living spaces (e. g., bed covers). Other objects were connected to education and entertainment (books, instruments, toys). In a period when raw materials were limited, animal skin constituted a decisive part of daily utensils. This also involves aspects of economy, practicability, availability, prestige, and social status. The starting point for this extensive collection was the case study of Sand, an early medieval site (10th century AD) located in Lower Austria (see Saliari, Felgenhauer-Schmidt, this volume).
Keywords: animal skin, leather processing, Antiquity, Medieval, leather and fur products