Case 5: A Cap, A Sack, and Two Mysteries
Other Types of Textile Artifacts
In addition to garments, covers and other furnishings, toweling and padding, many types of textile artifacts were found at Karanis. Certain types, like the sack (made of reused cloth), are easily identifiable. Some artifact types have been identified by reference to other archaeological contexts: such is the case for the cap braided in the sprang technique, which produces a patterned, stretchy material. Other artifact types might conceivably be explained by comparing size and shape to known types (e.g., compare the felt piece to sprang cap) and to similar items found elsewhere.
The purpose of some types of artifacts remains unexplained. For example, several examples of multilayered rag wads similar to the last mysterious item in this display case were found at various locations at Karanis. What do you think they were used for?