By Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Cambridge
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Extra info for Bulletin on Sumerian Agriculture - 6 (1992): Trees and Timber in Mesopotamia
The largest often contain the chief product from which the family secures its sustenance, whether this be dried fish, grain, or the fleeces of sheep, until such time as the contents can be profitably marketed. They can also be used for storage of family possessions not needed during the summer, such as heavy blankets, bedding and clothes. One can often judge the relative economic position of a household by the size and number of storage vessels it maintains. Protective Food Covers The mishfaya is a large heavy cover which is used to protect food left over from meals from prowling cats, dogs or other animals.
Two methods of further reinforcing the roof are sometimes seen. Additional reed ribs can be tied on the exterior above the springing point of the arch and longitudinally across the mats. Most people prefer not to do this, for it facilitates rot at the points of contact. Ropes are sometimes tied across the roof from the upper rib on one siedwall to the upper rib on the other. Sometimes these are put in place in the late fall and taken off in the spring. Spacing between these ropes is likely to depend on the condition of the roof.
Outer sections of bound edges are passed around the ribbons in the previously woven strip before they are woven into the pattern. This process creates a more sturdy join which will withstand a great deal of pressure. They are still, however, less sturdy than the rest of the basket as a basket almost always disintegrates first at the juncture of the strips. A rolled edge is produced at the top of the basket by bending the top edge of the last strip outward and downward inserting the outer section through the previously woven strands before that section is woven through the cycle.