A finely decorated Egyptian Coptic roundel woven in black and red wool onto coarse, unbleached linen. This finely executed Coptic textile fragment features a polychromatic medallion, with a central red circle followed by a thick black circle with geometric motifs in between. A silhouette of a figure is displayed at the centre. The piece is further enriched with red geometric motifs and is framed with two linear boarders.
Date: Circa 4th-6th century AD Condition: Fine with clear and visible details. Signs of aging on the surface.
Coptic textiles, whose production began in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD in Egypt, were hand woven with unbleached linen warps and dyed wool wefts. The majority that have survived, were used to decorate tunics; a clothing staple of the time. Influenced by a fusion of cultures and history, Coptic textiles evolved with history. During the Early Coptic period (3rd – 4th centuries AD), the primary decorative themes were taken from nature and Classical mythology, with Hellenistic tradition still popular. By the Middle Coptic period (5th – 7th centuries AD), depictions included abstract natural elements and Christian symbolism. The third period of textiles refers to the period of Islamic dominance, when the Copts were still able to survive despite their oppression.
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