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Identification and Creation
Object Number
1975.41.18.A
Title
Tapestry with Archers in Medallion
Classification
Textile Arts
Work Type
tapestry
Date
8th century
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Africa, Egypt (Ancient)
Period
Byzantine period
Culture
Byzantine
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/288768
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Wool and linen, tapestry woven
Technique
Woven, tapestry weave
Dimensions
31.5 x 23 cm (12 3/8 x 9 1/16 in.)
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of The Hagop Kevorkian Foundation in memory of Hagop Kevorkian
Accession Year
1975
Object Number
1975.41.18.A
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
Tapestry with adorsed archers performing Parthian shots inside a medallion. Four spotted felines in the medallion’s foreground. The design is executed in a light thread against a red background. The left archer wears a rayed crown, the other a turban. The archers also hold bows of different styles.
The linen warps run perpendicular to the design.
Commentary
Similarities to designs in contemporary luxury silks, such as the group known as the 'Hunting Amazon' silks. Outside the medallion are four plant motifs similar to those that appear on the so-called 'Akhmim silks,' which have been dated to the 7-10th centuries.1

Musee de Cluny Cl. 13185 closely resembles this textile. Same pattern as Victoria and Albert Museum no. 276-1887, from Akhmim. Slight differences exist, especially in the handling of the animals’ spots. Related also to Victoria and Albert Museum no. 1287-1888, also from Akhmim—though the archers on this piece do not wear headgear, there are additional six-petalled flowers around the candelabra plants, and the animal bodies are more rectangular.

1. A. De Moor, S. Schrenk, and C. Verhecken-Lammens, "New Research on the So Called Akhmim Silks." In S. Schrenk, (ed.), Textiles in Situ. Their Find Spots in Egypt and Neighbouring Countries in the First Millennium, Riggisberger Berichte 13 (Riggisberg 2006) 85–94.

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 am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu