Weaving, Writing, and Women: A Case Study of Etruscan Sigla on Loom Weights
By Cassidy Phelps
Honors Thesis, Florida State University, 2012
Abstract: No thorough, systematic study of Etruscan sigla, non-verbal marks of communication incised, painted or imprinted on artifacts throughout the Mediterranean, has been conducted to date. This thesis examines sigla found on a particular artifact, loom weights, from four sites in Etruria in an effort to interpret these marks. After establishing the cultural, social, and economic importance of weaving to the women responsible for it, as well as the economy as a whole, it is suggested that the women themselves were responsible for making the loom weights and then marking them with sigla as symbols of ownership. While the sigla themselves have a variety of meanings and likely have multiple functions, they appear to share this usage in the context of textile tools.