Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Band with Human Figure in Medallion
Textile Arts
Work Type
3rd-6th century
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Africa
Byzantine period
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Wool on linen
7.3 x 10.8 cm (2 7/8 x 4 1/4 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Dr. Denman W. Ross
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Tapestry woven band with design in dark blue wool on undyed linen. The design is vertically oriented and may have come from a clavi. A simple bust of a human figure, perhaps a beneficent personification, is presented in a thick medallion. The figure appears to wear a tunic with two clavi. Acanthus or grape leaves connected to a vine are visible above and below the medallion, suggesting that the pattern within the band is an inhabited vine scroll.

The borders of the band are created out of thick zigzagging vines. The outer empty spaces along this vine sprout acanthus or grape leaves. The inner sides of the vine border are filled with triangles that resemble simplified serrated leaves. The designs running along these two thick vines are created in a slightly darker thread than the other areas of undyed yarn. Details of the human figure and the outer vine borders are executed in flying shuttle using undyed thread. These borders are very similar to those on 1924.117 and 1924.124, also gifts from Denman W. Ross.
Exhibition History

Early Christian Africa: Arts of Transformation, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 08/31/2019 - 01/05/2020

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at