Analysis of Tools for Decoration

Wednesday 11 January 2012, by CerAfIm // 1. Goals

Tools for making decorations are rarely discovered during archeological investigations.
Yet, thanks to a systematic study of the typical tools such as spatulas and combs, and to the analysis of decorative motifs, a number of tools can be identified.
As far as roulettes are concerned, the tool used to make this motif can be suggested using modern examples of rouletting tools and by recreating the process (rolled impression).

The spatula has a linear and continuous face, which may be straight, curved or sinusoidal. The impression from a spatula leaves a curved, straight or sinuous line.

A comb is linear but the active section is a discontinuous line with teeth that are separated at regular or irregular intervals. There are multiple variant types of combs, such as double-pronged implements and multi-toothed combs.
Combs are defined according to:
- even/uneven space between the teeth;
- face profile;
- tooth morphology;
- similar/different shaped teeth;
- tooth width;
- tool height.

Roulettes are cylinder/sub-cylinder-shaped instruments that are rolled onto the fresh fabric to decorate it. Thus, the cylinder wall is the instrument’s active section.