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Qasr Ibrim (Egypt)

Qasr Ibrim, Egypt. Qasr Ibrim, Egypt.

The archaeological site of Qasr Ibrim lies on a bluff overlooking the Nile, Upper Egypt, where it almost never rains, and so high above the river that it was never flooded. This allowed the organic remains to be almost totally preserved. The site was occupied for nearly 3000 years, until the ruling authorities officially ordered its abandonment in 1812.

The construction of the Aswan High Dam from the late 1950's, and the consequent creation of Lake Nasser, transformed Qasr Ibrim into an island and flooded its outskirts. The Egypt Exploration Society (EES), London, organized the emergency excavations at the site from the 1960's onwards. The accumulated debris at the site yielded objects of basketry, leather, matting, papyrus, textiles, wood, and even food remains.

In fact, Qasr Ibrim yielded many thousands of textile fragments as well as complete garments. The most complete, interesting, unusual or important items were catalogued, cleaned, photographed and prepared for publication by Elisabeth Crowfoot and Nettie Adams.

The decorative needlework from Qasr Ibrim can be divided into three groups: (a) Meroitic embroidery, prior to AD 500, (b) Medieval embroidery (c. sixth -fifteenth centuries) and (c) Ottoman embroidery from the early sixteenth century until 1812, when Qasr Ibrim was officially abandoned by the ruling authorities.

The decorative needlework identified at the site includes appliqué, badla, counted thread work, free style embroidery, patchwork, samplers and various forms of tiraz.

Source: ADAMS, Nettie K. (2016). 'Embroideries from Qasr Ibrim, Egyptian Nubia,' in: Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood (ed.). Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World, London: Bloomsbury Academic, pp. 94-113.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 5 June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 13:27