Fragment of Round Segmentum

Fragment of Round Segmentum

AD 400s–600s

Wool: tabby ground, inwoven tapestry ornament

Overall: 33 x 29.2 cm (13 x 11 1/2 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1982.271

Did you know?

Human figures with fish tails are woven into the border of this medallion.

Description

Segmentum (medallions) like this decorated tunics in Coptic Egypt. Medallions were woven into a tunic’s shoulders or lower half. This medallion's design scheme displays waves encircling geometric shapes and representational images. It features a cross-legged dancer balanced on a vase with hands raised prayerfully. Other dancers clang cymbals while satyrs frolic below them. Coptic can refer to a language, an ethnic group, a religion, or an artistic style (which wasn’t always Christian). Coptic classical imagery reflects the Hellenized (Greek, 305–30 BC) and Roman cultures of Egypt (30 BC–AD 395) before the Byzantine era.

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