"Each part of the world recapitulates, shares in and experiences the history of the world as a whole"
Fernand Braudel

Fragment of an Egyptian Coptic Textile

3rd Century AD
Tomb of Elahbel, Palmyra
7,5 cm x 40 cm

The Palmyrene tombs offer a lot of information about life in Palmyra. It is known that the dead were buried with their loveliest belongings in order to have with them in the afterlife. So we find many precious objects like glass, gold and silver jewelries, and finely woven textiles of cotton, linen, silk or wool.

This item and the next one are just two samples of fine fabrics found in the tombs of Palmyra. In addition to revealing a sense for luxury, these items also indicate the wide commercial contacts Palmyra enjoyed, as this item was made in Egypt while the other one comes via the Silk Road all the way from China.

The sample presented here is a fragment of Egyptian Coptic linen ornamented with a running sequence of figures depicting wrestlers in various poses. Adding to the animation, the textile is dyed with many colors, the background is a deep red while the figures are woven in blue, white, yellow and black.

see also