The Hellenic Centre for Research and Conservation of Archaeological Textiles (ARTEX) is a non profit society with research, cultural and educational objectives, founded in 2002 by the initiative of the late Youlie Spantidaki, biologist and researcher of ancient textiles, Iris Tzachili, Professor of Archaeology at the University of Crete and Eliza Polychroniadou, museologist and conservator of organic materials.
It is managed by its Fellows and consists of members.
Its current Fellows are:
Stella Spantidaki, Director
Iris Tzachili, Vice Chair
Christophe Moulherat, Textile Analysis Specialist
Lia Andreakou, Secretary
Christina Margariti, Textile Analysis Specialist
Sophia Vakirtzi, Research Associate
ARTEX’ Legal representative is Stella Spantidaki.
ARTEX is involved in the research of archaeological textiles using interdisciplinary methods combining information from the fields of archaeology, philology, ancient history, biology, chemistry and experimental archaeology. It aims to raise public awareness regarding the existence and importance of archaeological textile remains in Greece already since the Bronze Age. At the same time, it intends to familiarise the community with the research on extant fabrics, types of costume and any archaeological remain connected with the chain of operation of textile production in ancient Greece, such as materials, textile tools, spinning and weaving techniques, dyes and embellishment. Among ARTEX’ interests is the study of Greek textile terminology, the conservation techniques, the display of textiles, the garments decoration and the connection of textiles to religious ceremonies and funerary customs. Moreover, it studies the social context of textile production (domestic/artisanal space, women/men, occupations and trade) and its implications in ancient Greek societies.
A primary concern of ARTEX is the dissemination of the research results to the scientific community and the diffusion of knowledge to the public. For this reason ARTEX is publishing the periodical Arachne and supports scientific, educational and cultural activities in relation to the field of archaeological textiles.
Another aim is to highlight and promote the various aspects of the archaeological profession (excavation, research, artefacts exhibition and promotion, dissemination of knowledge).
ARTEX’s premises are located in a building of the interwar period in the centre of Athens. It has a library that hosts the collection of Youlie Spantidaki, a study area, as well as equipment for scientific study and analysis of archaeological textiles.