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Luxurious Woolen Tunic with Decorated Bands and Roundels

Luxurious Woolen Tunic with Decorated Bands and Roundels

600s-700s

Weft-faced plain weave with slit-and dovetailed-tapestry weave, supplementary weft wrapping, embroidery; undyed linen, dyed wool

Overall: 205 x 170.2 cm (80 11/16 x 67 in.)

The A. W. Ellenberger, Sr., Endowment Fund 1972.46

Description

This unisex winter-weight tunic is decorated on the front and back with the same geometric and figural
motifs, including men on horseback on the sleeves. The geometric braided knots in the large roundels were believed to protect the wearer from harm.

The tunic and the decoration were woven in one complete piece with the front, back, and sleeves in this exact shape and size. The tunic’s owner repaired it on the left side and shortened it nearly two inches by sewing a fold around the waist, where some of the original thread remains. When such tunics were interred in burials, discoloration and deterioration often resulted.

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