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Christianity and Monasticism in Upper EgyptVolume 1: Akhmim and Sohag$
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Gawdat Gabra and Hany N. Takla

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9789774161223

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774161223.001.0001

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Akhmim as a Source of Textiles

Akhmim as a Source of Textiles

(p.211) 19 Akhmim as a Source of Textiles
Christianity and Monasticism in Upper Egypt

Gawdat Gabra

Hany N. Takla

American University in Cairo Press

According to the historian Strabo, Akhmim/Panopolis was a well-known production center of linen fabrics from pharaonic times. Up to now there is little literary evidence of textile manufacture in the town throughout the first millennium, the period to which most of the textile-finds belong. However, some documents confirm that various textile specialists worked in Panopolis during the 4th century ad. This chapter shows that the inexhaustible number of textiles attributed to Akhmim and spread out over collections worldwide affirms that the al-Hawawis necropolis from which the majority of the pieces derived must have been in use from Roman times onward, at least throughout the first millennium. A special kind of quilted cap, of which several samples, all located to Akhmim exist, doubtless belongs to the Mamluk period. It is not certain in which cemetery they were discovered. So far later samples have not been found, which corresponds perfectly to Kuhlmann's report that the town's importance waned in the 15th century. Interestingly, Akhmim is the only one of all the ancient weaving towns that has preserved its reputation as a textile production center up to the present day.

Keywords:   textile production, Akhmim, Panopolis, al-Hawawis necropolis

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