Tunic

Tunic

Tunic
Egypt
700–900
Museum no. 291-1891

After the Arab conquest of Egypt in 642, the long-standing traditions of Roman and Byzantine dress continued alongside Islamic fashion. This man's tunic is a good example of new features mixed with old. Most intriguing are the different scripts in the tapestry woven decorations. A pseudo-inscription on the shoulder bands, close to the neckline, may have had the Arabic phrase 'Dominion belongs to God' as inspiration. On the medallions of the same shoulder bands, there is another 'inscription', which resembles the script used for Coptic, the language of most Egyptians at the time of the Islamic conquest. Neither the Arabic or the Coptic lettering conveys meaning here, and are treated as any other pretty pattern.