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by Archaeology Newsroom

The Silk Production in Soufli: A Contribution to the Greek Industrial Archaeology

The silk worm-breeding town of Soufli in Thrace is of great interest for the Greek industrial archaeological studies for many reasons. Therefore, its economic influ¬ence on Greek silk production at the turn of the twentieth century, the concentration on that place of all productive phases -from the mulberry tree culture to the products sale-, as well as the preservation of buildings and equipment would entirely justify a relevant monograph. For this purpose, in addition to vestiges and to some archive material, unfortunately incomplete for the Tzivre enterprise, the researcher could also use pho¬tographs showing the industrious life of the inhabitants. This article attempts to demonstrate the interest the site presents and the promising future of the young Greek industrial archaeology through two kinds of seri-cultural equipment, the property patrimony devoted to sericulture and the furniture and productive tools. Indeed, in addition to the complete demolishing of the existing buildings and the documentation of their history, the study would determine the specific contribution of each type of tool and property devices to the quality of products. For example, regarding the assignment of the Prussian specialist masons to build a silk worm-breeding factory, it would be necessary to determine the building arrangements targeting to optimize the worm environment and therefore the cocoon quality. This approach can be transposed to furniture and tools, despite any focal particularities and difficulties. Furthermore, the Soufli study would improve the factors which concern the choice of species and the kinds of culture used by professionals for improving the cocoon quality, if it could include an analysis of worm egg production and of mulberry tree farming. In the future monograph on the Soufli equipment, the definition of elements significant for silk production – architectural improvisations specific to sericulture, parts of tools necessary for getting such or such thread quality – would allow us to make comparisons, both historical (chronological and geographical) and qualitative (comparison with other Greek fibers).