Lecture: Threads of History: Embroidered and Woven Textiles of the Abbasid and Fatimid Caliphates
Jochen Sokoly's lecture focuses on a group of inscribed textiles from Egypt and the Central and Eastern Islamic lands commonly known as tiraz textiles. The term tiraz, although subject to some scholarly debate, refers to an inscription that contains historical content referring to an official commission by an Islamic ruler or one of his representatives. It usually lists the name of the ruler, and his titles, as well as administrative information relating to the object's manufacture. They are usually embroidered or woven in silk or wool on linen or cotton. It is the historical content of these textile inscriptions, which makes them a valuable resource for historical research into the caliphal administration of the early Islamic period. Apart from the content of the inscriptions this group of textiles is furthermore significant archaeologically, as they can offer a glimpse into the life, but also burial practices of the early Islamic period in Egypt and other parts of the Islamic World.
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