Ulam Grant for textile research at the PCMA UW

Ulam Programme grant has been awarded by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange to Dr. Elsa Yvanez to conduct research in cooperation with the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw. The program is aimed at increasing the international mobility of researchers and establishing their scientific cooperation with host institutions in Poland.

Dr. Elsa Yvanez specializes in the textile production of ancient Sudan and Nubia. She explains that her project aims to bridge the gap between textile studies and funerary archaeology, using interdisciplinary approaches to renew our understanding of funerary practices in Late Antic Sudan (c. 350 BCE–550 CE). Using methods from physical anthropology, archaeology, thanatology, conservation, and textile studies, the project will lead to the creation of a protocol for best practices in the excavation, conservation, and analysis of funerary textiles, from the in-situ find all the way to advanced testing in laboratories.

Led by Dr. Elsa Yvanez, in close collaboration with Dr. Magdalena M. Wożniak, also a textiles specialist, and other PCMA UW colleagues, the project will be composed of multi-disciplinary training events, research in archives and in the field, and dissemination (publications, seminars, etc.). – Our collective aim is to rethink our approach to funerary remains: not as a disjointed group of scattered artifacts, but as the result of a multi-step and complete practice where textiles conceal, dress, shape, and protect the body of the deceased, while giving the individual a clear identity in the worlds of both the living and the dead – says Dr. Yvanez. The project (PPN/ULM/2020/1/00246) will start in 2021.

Dr. Elsa Yvanez is an archaeologist specialized in the textile production of ancient Sudan and Nubia, in the chaîne opératoire and economic significance of spinning and weaving, as well as in the use of textiles for clothing and burial. After a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions grant, focussing on the archaeology of textile production in the Meroitic Kingdom (TexMeroe, MSCA 743420), she currently is a researcher at the Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen.

Learn more on the TexMeroe Project: www.texmeroe.com