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Creation Date

3rd–4th centuries




Roman, Byzantine, Egyptian, Coptic


Dyed wool tapestry weave


6 1/4 × 3 1/8 in. (15.9 × 7.9 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of David P. Harris ('46), 2020

Accession Number



Collected by David P. Harris; source and date unknown.


The current condition of the textile is damaged. Throughout the textile some areas are worn off, signs of holes forming, and nonlinear cuts (a sign that it was torn or cut naturally at some point in time), irregularly throughout the piece. Textile is currently glued to mat board.

Gerardo Martinez (’25), October 2023


The object under consideration is a fragment that once formed a part of the border of a larger textile. Its distinctive characteristics reveal valuable insights into its composition and craftsmanship. The tactile examination of this fragment reveals a palpable ruggedness and a notable thickness, leading to a plausible deduction that the textile material employed in its construction is likely wool. Furthermore, the methods employed in the dyeing process are indicative of historical practices, suggesting the utilization of traditional techniques, potentially including the venerable tapestry weave method.

The central focus of this textile fragment lies in its iconography, a meticulous portrayal that reflects a rich cultural and artistic heritage. Prominently featured within this design are three crosses, where the central cross is augmented by the projection of a horizontal line, giving it a distinctive arrowhead-like appearance. This arrangement is characterized by symmetry, with five lines emanating from each side of the central cross. The geometric precision observed in this arrangement speaks to the artisan's skill and adherence to established design conventions. A noteworthy detail emerges approximately an inch above the central pattern: a continuous, bold red line traverses horizontally. This element, often encountered in the context of rugs and curtains, serves to delineate and accentuate the border of the textile piece. Such usage of geometric elements, as observed in this fragment, is a customary practice in textile design and plays a vital role in enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal and structural integrity of the textile.

Gerardo Martinez (’25)