Journey of Silk explored by Speaking Archaeologically

An archaeology workshop was organised at the MCM DAV College for Women by Speaking Archaeologically, a venture on a household archaeology by the founder Shriya Gautam and four other British archaeologists, on February 27th 2016.

Aimed at educating young minds who aspire to become archaeologists or even those remotely interested in history, Speaking Archaeologically is one of its kind. A number of student-volunteers have worked  ceaselessly since November on a number of topics, writing research papers and exploring endless possibilities.

The idea began from Citizen-Science, a project in USA which asked the masses to send pictures of everyday, intriguing things to scientists who would research on them. Inspired by this, Shriya thought about the end number of things like old coins, pieces of jewelery and heirlooms which were lying around our houses . Owners were not aware of the immense importance of these articles of historical importance around in their very own drawers. Thus came up the idea of household archaeology.

The workshop on the theme “Silk: Tracing the journey from China and India, to Thailand” explored the origins of silk. Beginning with a crisp introduction by Aditi Joshi, the seminar started with the narration of the tale of Emperor Confucius and his child wife, who is believed to be the first one to discover silk.

From Industrial espionage to tales of how silk traveled to France, Thailand, India and the whole world, the audience comprising of teachers, students and volunteers traveled back in time.

Armed with a Power-point Presentation, the speaker explored the various versions of the never-ending debate on where exactly did silk originate?The discussion dissected the various weaving techniques used in different parts of the world especially in South India, where the silk industry still flourishes.

From conservation of silk down the ages to the varieties of silkworms and spiders producing the fabric,  the seminar was all encompassing. Models displayed Thai silk and thick opaque Chinese silk. Tea coasters, original mulberry fabric and a lot more was on display to cater to the minds of the budding archaeologists.


About the Author

Pavni Gaurangi

Pavni Gaurangi (MCM College 36)

Earthly and Altruistic , sprinkled with tiny hints of never ending enthusiasm. This author is prone to being gibberish at times yet forces the world to absorb her never ending sagas.


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