Roundel from a Curtain

300s CE
Overall: 45.2 x 47.7 cm (17 13/16 x 18 3/4 in.); Mounted: 64.1 x 64.1 x 2.5 cm (25 1/4 x 25 1/4 x 1 in.)
Location: not on view
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Did You Know?

The purple color was achieved with kermes, a dye derived from the dried bodies of insects of the same name.


This circular element called a roundel that originally decorated a curtain displays a perfectly interlaced knot, a design believed to provide protection from harm. Curtains were often used as modular walls in houses, theaters, and Christian churches during the late Roman and early Christian periods.
Roundel from a Curtain

Roundel from a Curtain

300s CE

Egypt, Byzantine period

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