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The process of softening and rotting fibrous plant stems such as hemp and flax by soaking them in water or by exposing them to moisture until much of the non‐vascular plant material has decayed. The stems can then be beaten to detach the fibres from the woody core. The facility used for retting, usually a hole in the ground capable of holding water, is known as a retting pit.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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