Three Coptic tunics and a hat from Medieval Egypt

Shown below, from Miriam’s blog, are three lovely,well-preserved Coptic tunics and a hat.  These items, as similarly well-preserved clothing pieces, have generally been found in Coptic cemeteries in the Nile valley.  Arid conditions and sealed tombs over many centuries are responsible for the amazingly vibrant colors and retained shapes of the garments.

However, so many of these finds have been looted and sold on through dealers with little information regarding their provenance and often with the pieces having been cut in ways thought to enhance their salability.

ebay.com seems to be one of the greatest contemporary purveyor of unprovenanced  and anonymous finds.  For example, the following piece of a Coptic textile that has clearly been trimmed from the full piece and is currently for sale on eBay:

MEDIUM SIZED COPTIC TEXTILE FRAGMENT; ANIMALS AND BIRDS, seller Sphinx.  Source - ebay.com

MEDIUM SIZED COPTIC TEXTILE FRAGMENT; ANIMALS AND BIRDS, seller Sphinx. Source – ebay.com

Happily, this is not the case with clothing items on Miriam’s blog, for she treats items that are found  in museums and provides interesting information about the pieces.

On the looting and sales of antiquities from Egypt, I will be writing more on this important topic.  In the meantime, do enjoy Miriam’s blog!

*   *  *  *  *

 Post Script: Many years ago I visited the small town of Akhmim in southern Egypt, which has been the site of Coptic textile work for centuries. Most interesting and I wonder what has become of these families and their businesses. Their work was so outstanding.
Coptic Tunic, awalimofstormhold.wordpress.com

Coptic Tunic, awalimofstormhold.wordpress.com

Miriam's Middle Eastern Research Blog

coptnecklinetextilemeseum This textile is 64 cm long and 114 cm wide. It is made of plain woven linen with wool tapestry weave inserts. It was made by Coptic Egyptians between the 9th and 12th centuries C.E. It is currently in the Textile Museum of Canada. There is a zoom view available on the page.

coptictunic1textilemuseum This textile is 105 cm long and 122 cm wide. It is wool, with tapestry woven inserts of bird decorations and thought to have been made between the 6th and 7th centuries. The bottoms of the tunic is fringed. The tunic is in the Textile Museum of Canada. The tunic has a zoom view available on the page.

coptictunic2textilemueum This tunic is 76.7 cm long and 112.3 cm wide. It is made of plain woven linen, with wool tapestry woven inserts and appliqué. It was thought to have been made between the 7th and 9th centuries…

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
This entry was posted in Antiquities looting, Egypt, Egypt - Medieval and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Three Coptic tunics and a hat from Medieval Egypt

  1. ritaroberts says:

    Hi Diana, Great post. I love the woven tapestries. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

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