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Fragment of a woolen textile from the Kapati type

Fragment of a woolen textile from the Kapati type
© BA Antiquities Museum/E. Omar

Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 0917

Inv.Inventory
 (Coptic Museum) 1890

where to find


showcase 22

Fragment of a woolen textile from the Kapati type

Category:
Textile
Date:
Byzantine Period, 4th to 5th cent. CE
Provenance:
Unknown
Material(s):
Organic material, fiber (from plants/animals), wool
Length:
18 cm;
Width:
18 cm
Hall:
Byzantine Antiquities, showcase 22


Description

Fragment of a woolen textile woven in the traditional Kapati style, one of the distinguished styles Egypt has known during the Christian period. The Kapati was named after the Copts of Egypt; and it was said that Al-Mukawkas, the Governor of Egypt, offered Kapati cloths to the Prophet Muhammed.
Two squares separated by festoons, from which hang geometric motifs, occupy the center of the fragment. The center of the fragment is occupied by a representation of a dancing man surrounded by geometric motifs. The fragment dates back to the period which extends from the mid-third century to the mid-fourth century CE when pagan themes were common.

Wool

Many classical authors, such as Herodotus and Plutarch, report that the Ancient Egyptians felt an aversion for wool, because they considered it unclean, and also because of the hot climate of Egypt. However, during the Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine periods, wool was broadly used, especially for decoration. Coptic weavers use to produce the wool decorated motifs and then sew them on shirts and cloaks.


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • "Textiles". In The Coptic Encyclopedia. Edited by: Atiya, Aziz S. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1991.
  • Lutz, Henry Frederick. Textiles and costumes among the peoples of the ancient Near east. Leipzig, J.C. Hinrichs; New York city, G.E. Stechert & co., 1923.
  • Marzouk, M. A. History of textile industry in Alexandria, 331 B.C.-1517 A.D. Alexandria: Alexandria University Press, 1955.
  • Strabo. The Geography of Strabo with an English translation by Horace Leonard Jones. Cambridge : Harvard University Press, 1982-1995.
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