This study focuses on elucidating spatio-temporal and causal factors of the major changes in Eneolithic textile technologies that might be associated with raw fibre material innovation. It reports on a large textile tool sample, collected within a broad 26-site cluster across the Pannonian Plain region. Textile tools, mainly spindle whorls, were analysed according to the methodological standards of the respective field of textile archaeology. More specifically, their functional analysis was chosen as a starting point for investigating different fibre material use and procurement strategies, in order to clarify the advent and spread of wool-bearing sheep husbandry. Results of the spindle whorl analysis illustrate the extent of the exploitation of both sheep wool and flax plant fibres within the contexts of the investigated textile productions. Together with the results of the textile tool analysis that build the central part of this thesis, different strains of evidence, such as indications of climate change, altering subsistence strategies and herding patterns, suggest that animal exploitation, most probably including fibre use, was driven by local environmental conditions already in the 4th millennium BC. Archaeobotanical evidence from the investigated area and neighbouring regions propose that gathering and processing of wild and domesticated plants was also a significant component of the local textile productions. Furthermore, comparison of the investigated spindle whorl assemblages revealed that the Eneolithic textile productions were ‘culture-specific’. More precisely, both typological standards and technological specifications of these tools displayed a statistically significant dependence on the ‘archaeological culture’. Finally, the examination of social aspects of fibre processing practice indicated intensification and most probably early specialization of the spinning craft. It is possible to conclude that all the considered and analysed evidence argue an adjustment to new raw fibre material resources during the Eneolithic period in the investigated area.
This cumulative thesis is composed of three major parts: Introduction, Publications and Synthesis. The main part put forward in the second Publications chapter consists of five previously published articles and manuscripts. Appendices consist of complete datasets, which are also already available through an open-source publication. For more comfortable use of primary sources all the publications are included in their original form, while being embedded in a comprehensive binding text that consists of introductory and concluding chapters.