Garments for a goddess? Apropos of an inscribed loom weight from segesta

Luciano Agostiniani;Monica De Cesare;Hedvig Landenius Enegren

pp. 57-73, Figg. 4

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The present paper discusses a loom weight with a Greek inscription, recently discovered during the study of the loom weights from Grotta Vanella at Segesta. Following the re-examination of the material culture remains the authors 1) describe the context from which the weight was recovered, 2) discuss the typology, decoration and function of the tool, and 3) hypothesize the type and quality of cloth produced thanks to experimental analysis. The available epigraphic and linguistic evidence shows that the inscription fits well into the general pattern of the pottery “graffiti” from the same cave, suggesting that they were either written by the same hand, or belong to the same writing tradition. Given the above premises the inscription should be attributed to the sacred area of Monte Barbaro. Despite our very limited knowledge of the Elymian language, the inscription is undoubtedly votive. This new inscription is important for the reconstruction of the Elymian language because it confirms some data already suggested from the study of other Elymian documents.