It is with great sadness that the BSA announces the passing on 24 January 2018 of Joanne Cutler, who had a long association with the BSA as a student, fieldworker and researcher in the field of ancient textiles.
Jo completed her PhD in Aegean Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology UCL, on ‘Crafting Minoanisation: Textiles, Crafts Production and Social Dynamics in the Bronze Age Southern Aegean’. While a doctoral student she spent 4 months as a Visiting Scholar at the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research (CTR) in Copenhagen, a stay she followed up with an 8-month position there contributing to the ‘Tools and Textiles, Texts and Contexts: Textile Production in the Bronze Age Eastern Mediterranean’ research programme. After a post-doctoral fellowship awarded by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, Jo held a 2-year Marie Curie/Gerda Henkel Foundation Intra-European Fellowship at the CTR working on a project focusing on the second millennium BC Minoan and Mycenaean textile industries on Crete: ‘Weaving the Fabric of Society: Bronze Age Aegean Economies of Cloth’. Much in demand for her expertise, she was then invited to join the European Research Council funded project ‘Production and Consumption: Textile Economy and Urbanisation in Mediterranean Europe 1000 to 500 BCE’ (abbreviated as PROCON) as a research associate, which proved to be her last academic post.
In addition to these major projects Jo shared her expertise as a specialist on ancient textiles with many archaeological projects around the eastern Mediterranean, as well as participating in fieldwork in Greece, Cyprus and Italy. With the BSA, she was a key member of the Knossos Urban Landscape Project from 2005 to 2016, as a field team leader and, since 2010, as the specialist responsible for documentation of the Neo-Palatial ceramics. She also participated in the Kythera Island and Phylakopi projects, and was a member of the teams studying the BSA’s Knossos Neolithic and early Phylakopi materials.
Most recently Jo co-organised a PROCON workshop at the BSA in Athens in March 2016: ‘Weaving the Past: The Archaeology of Textiles and Textile Production in Greece in the First Millennium BCE’, one of her many contributions to the project. Those familiar with Jo’s scholarship will be pleased to know that her doctoral thesis will be published posthumously later this year by Oxbow Books in the CTR’s ‘Ancient Textiles’ series.
In the end even Jo’s determination was not up to the challenge of the cruel disease that took her life, but she will be remembered as a tireless and productive researcher, and as a bright and vibrant member of the BSA community, always positive and upbeat. Needless to say, our sincere condolences go to Jo’s family, and her many friends and colleagues.