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28 January 2013
Loom weights reveal weaving in Turkey 2,500 years ago

The northwestern province of Canakkale's Ayvacik district is home to one of the most important areas of Turkey's textile industry, famous for kilim carpets produced in different colours and designs. 2,500-year-old loom weights recently found in the ancient city of Assos have brought the district even more fame.
     Surface surveys showed there could have been a small weaving workshop in an area next to the Ancient Theatre, according to Professor Nurettin Arslan, head of the Assos excavations, and Archaeology Department Chairman of Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University. The weights are of various types. "Some of them are round and some of them are cubic. People used even broken ceramic pieces in this period by making a hole in the centre of them. There are seals, names or descriptions on some of these weights."
     These findings showed that the textile industry had been in existence in the region for an incredibly long time. "Assos was also one of the important ports in ancient times. It is mentioned in the Ottoman documents. Valonias [acorns] collected from Canakkale districts were brought to Assos and exported through this port. Valonia is a significant factor to paint [dye] the fibre used in textile industry and to process [tan] the leather," said Arslan, adding that Ayvacik was one of those rare places where some traditions have continued since the ancient times.

Edited from Hurriyet Daily News (4 January 2013)

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