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Bracteate

Anglo-Saxon bracteate, found near Canterbury, UK. Dated around AD 700. Anglo-Saxon bracteate, found near Canterbury, UK. Dated around AD 700.

A bracteate is a thin, metal (especially gold) disc or shaped form, which is sewn onto a textile or item of clothing. A bracteate is normally small, only a few centimetres in diameter. A bracteate can be very simple, or highly embellished with other materials, sich as beads, gems, or (enamelled) glass.

Once working metal jewelry became established at various places in the world, bracteates quickly came to appear on local clothing. They are already found on the clothing of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh, Tutankhamun, in the fourteenth century BC. They are also found among the artifacts from the so-called Tillya Tepe Hoard from northern Afghanistan, dating to the beginning of the first millennium AD, but also on excavated garments found along the ancient Silk Road, at excavations in China, and these days in global fashion and regional dress.

The word bracteate derives from the Latin bractea, meaning a thin piece of metal.

Digital source illustration (retrieved 18 June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 16:35