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textile / mat

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Fragment of a fibre mat(?) in plain weave with brocading; decorated with a panel containing a lozenge-shaped panel with dots; below, an incomplete Coptic inscription and pattern in light brown on dark brown.

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 7thC-8thC (?)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 24 centimetres
    • Width: 18 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

  • Curator's comments

    Information from Hero Granger-Taylor 1989.

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    6 November 2013

    Treatment proposal

    Surface clean. Make supportive recessed mount for storage.


    Thick woven fragment with a dark brown ground plain weave, and a reversible decorative pattern woven with supplementary wefts and yellow, orange and green in colour. All threads are animal fibres, 2-ply, spun with an S-twist. There are no finished edges on the fragment.

    Condition Report

    This fragment has an undulating surface, so that it does not lie flat. It is very dry and stiff, resulting in some broken fibres, and split threads within the weave. There is patchy discolouration most visible on the yellow, orange and green threads, as well as surface soiling in places. The unfinished edges are fraying and fibres are shedding here. There is a split on one side of the fragment.

    Treatment details

    Firstly, the fragment was lightly surface cleaned, to remove loose fibres and soiling. This was carried out using a museum vac on a low-setting with fine nylon net placed over the nozzle. Loose fibres where placed inside a labelled plastic bag, to be kept with the object.

    Small fibre samples were then taken from the object, and identification was conducted under a microscope. This showed that the fibres were severely degraded animal fibres.

    A recessed mount was then made for storage. The shape of the fragment was cut out of a 35mm thick piece of Plastazote (polyethylene). This was adhered onto a Correx (polypropylene/polyethylene copolymer,coorugated sheet) board with Vinamul 3252 and left to dry. As it was felt that the textile was strong enough, it was decided to use the textile itself to help determine the shape of the padding inside the recess, so that it was as supportive as possible. The object was placed onto a piece of cotton jersey fabric and then lowered into the recess. Polyester wadding was inserted underneath the cotton jersey to provide support for the textile as required. The jersey was then secured in position by inserting it into a slit cut into the Plastazote, 10mm from the edge of the recess. The secured the jersey firmly but without the use of adhesive and was also adjustable. In order to make the object easier to remove when required for study, it was then placed onto a loose layer of silk habutai. This was then lowered into the recessed mount.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1913-1914 by Reginald Campbell Thompson on behalf of the Byzantine Research Fund.

  • Department

    Ancient Egypt & Sudan

  • BM/Big number


  • Registration number


Earthenware (pottery) plate fragment; red fabric; part of the foot and bottom; decorated with stamped motifs in the form of pointed ovals;inside incised concentric circles; glazed red; wheel-made.

Detail: Inscription

Earthenware (pottery) plate fragment; red fabric; part of the foot and bottom; decorated with stamped motifs in the form of pointed ovals;inside incised concentric circles; glazed red; wheel-made.

Image description



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Object reference number: YCA31550

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