Textile fragment with stylized animals pattern

Textile fragment with stylized animals pattern

Textile fragment with stylized animals pattern
Central Asia
200-800 AD
Weft-faced compound weave in silk
Length 18.7 cm x width 10.7 cm
Museum no. LOAN:STEIN.595 (Ast.vi.I.03)
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
On loan from Government of India and the Archaeological Survey of India

This textile fragment shows highly stylized animals in red and cream with blue or purple details, of which the top row might be camels. The overall pattern shows some similarity to the grid of Han dynasty textiles such as jin-silks with inscriptions, but the direction of the pattern is shifted 90 degrees. As a feature of Central Asian textiles for a long time, this pattern is a true repeat in the weft direction but not in the warp direction as seen in Chinese textiles of this period. The piece was found in one of the tombs at Astana and perhaps was once part of the burial face cover.