Linen garment

From a tomb at Thebes, Egypt
18th Dynasty, around 1350 BC

Tunic with scooped neck and fringed lower border

It is likely that a much wider range of clothing existed than was shown in the art of ancient Egypt. The few complete garments that have been found show techniques such as smocking and fringing which are seldom shown in representations. Coloured trims, borders and motifs were often used, but are also rarely shown. It is also rare for people to be depicted in anything more than the flimsiest of garments. It is likely that undergarments, such as tunics, were worn in the winter months, when the weather could be cold, especially at night.

Many types of clothing for both men and women are represented in tomb and temple scenes, as well as on statues. The styles worn by deities changed little, as they themselves were eternal. The same is true of the poorer members of society, whose simple clothes were made to be easy to work in. Workmen shown in scenes, and models of workmen, mostly wear loincloths. These people are easy to distinguish from the family of the tomb owner, whose clothes are more elaborate and often accompanied with jewellery.

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More information


G. Vogelsang-Eastwood, Pharaonic Egyptian clothing (Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1993)

M. Stead, Egyptian life (London, The British Museum Press, 1986)


Museum number

EA 2565



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