Roman Burial Pillow 1

This pillow was one of 3 found in a burial at Anitone. The original is now housed at the Musuee Historique des Tissus. The pillows were dated to the 3rd C AD from the unique burial methods used (Becker).Taquete has been found in Roman digs dated to the First Century AD. The First Century textiles are woven using wool warp and weft, whereas Third Century textiles of these structures used silk thread. However, Wild traced these textiles to Syrian workshops  (Wild a, 2003).

The Senmurv Silk

This silk was dated to the 7th-8th Century . The silk was found in Iran, but the conservationists contend that it may have been made in Central Asia. The cloth itself is a compound weft faced twill (or samitum) the twill as shown in the photograph above is a S twill. A single repeat of the senmurv design was measured at 15.5 inches  by 13.5 inches. Upon study of this textile there appears to be one single treading error in the cloth, which was a great achievement in a cloth with such a large number of threads. The monochromatic design is a light green on dark green.

Textile Image: 

Samite from Antinoe

Becker also included a Sasanid samitum silk, which he stated was cautiously dated to the 5th Century. A fine Z twisted silk was used for the warp. (Becker, 1987). The warp was sett at 50-56 epcm (125-140 epi) (with 25-28 epcm/63-71 epi in the binding structure) and 55-82 ppcm (140-208 ppi) in the weft (Becker, 1987). The variation in warp sett was cited as evidence that looms of this era did not utilize a reed (Becker, 1987). The variation in ppcm was noted as a function of which color (and therefore thread) was being used in the design.The pattern unit was 85 warp ends.

Roman Burial Pillow 3

This pillow was woven in three color taquete. There were “three dark brown bands with small white motifs, two red bands with rectangles and tree motifs, a green band with a diamond motif, and below these registers a blue field with a beige diamond pattern filled with red and yellow trees” (Hoskins, 2003). This pillow measured 34 cm by 29 cm (15.5” x 13”) (Hoskins, 2003). The final pillow was woven “ on a beige field at the bottom edge and then a large green field with white palmettes design interspersed with red and yellow circles” (Hoskins, 2003).

Roman Burial Pillow 2

Becker also discusses another pillow from the Antinoe find now held at the Musee Historique des Tissus. The pattern is a while palmette on a green background. The palmettes have spots in two colours between. The spots alternate between red and yellow.

Peacocks and sphinxes taquete

This piece shows a new variation on the typical roundel style samitums of the earlier periods. Two peacocks face each other with tails raised. The shape of the peacock raised tails is followed by a curved line followed by two bands of script and another outline. between tehse designs are paris fo sphinxes.The piece measures 9" square and shows two full across repeats, two repeats vertically and one nearly complete repeat of the design.

Peacock samitum

"On a rose-tan ground horizontal rows of roundels with confronted peacocks in green, rose-tan, and brown" inbetween these roundels are smaller roundels encasulating eight-pointed stars.


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