historic textiles from Karanis
The Cloth Artifacts
Textiles and the Archaeology of Karanis
Group Photograph
Case 4
Newspaper Article
Case 5
Where the textiles were found
An Important Find Site: House 124
texts about textiles

Case 4: Clothing


Tunics and shawls were standard garment types during the Roman period. Medallions (circular ornaments) were commonly placed at the shoulders and knees of tunics (see photo below) and at the four corners of rectangular shawls. The garments on display show traces of mending and reworking. The length of the tunic, for example, was taken up in a tuck. Such tucks have been found on garments for adults as well: these garments were woven in just a few standard sizes, and the length was adjusted for each wearer. This practice also facilitated reuse, whether anticipating a child’s growth or the later transfer of the garment to someone of a different height. The other garment, which appears to have been a shawl, is made up of reused pieces: roundels taken from another garment have been applied to a length of cloth, itself reused (it shows signs of abrasion).

Case 4: Clothing

Child’s tunic
Karanis, 25-5034A-H, R
Kelsey Museum, 10482
Child’s shawl (?)
Karanis, 27-C546C, R
Kelsey Museum, 22546


20. Child's tunic, KM 10482 21. Child's shawl(?), KM 22546