The Eyed Needle: Lecture at Branigan Cultural Center


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What tool, invented today, will still be in use in the year 22014? Few tools have such staying power. The sewing needle, however, was invented well over 20,000 years ago and the needles we use today, while of a different material, are almost identical to the first needles. Eyed needles are ubiquitous across the globe and in many cultures. This talk will examine the origins of the needle and then move through prehistory, examining the impact of this seemingly modest invention. We will also look at different archaeological and historical needles, considering why these artifacts are so common and why they are absent in a few times and places, including parts of the ancient Southwest.

Stone has studied bone needles from contemporary, historic, and prehistoric contexts throughout the United States and Western Europe. Her dissertation research focused on the use of bone needles among hunter-gatherers in Ice Age Spain. Stone is also the Curator of Education at the Branigan Cultural Center.

History Notes, monthly lectures on historical topics, take place on the second Thursday of each month at 1 pm. Please check our webpage for facebook for a full listing of these and other Branigan Cultural Center public programs.

The Branigan Cultural Center is located at 501 North Main Street. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9am to 4:30pm. For more information, contact the Branigan Cultural Center at (575) 541-2154 or visit the Center’s website at las-cruces.org/museums.

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