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The expression of cultural cross-fertilization in Egyptian clothing of the 7th-10th centuries AD.

Project description

How ancient garments offer a unique perspective on cultural identity and society

The EU-funded TUNICS project will shed light on the impact of cross-fertilisation between different cultures in Egypt during the 7th - 10th centuries AD through a comprehensive study on tunics, the basic garment in that period. The research will be primarily object-based and the comparative study of technical data will enhance insight into technical crafts knowledge and contribute to understanding the development of clothing after the Arab conquest of Egypt, a period of political change. Clothing is an important expression of the wearer's identity. TUNICS will focus on the reciprocal influences between the existing styles and the newly introduced styles of tunics, and further highlight the relationship between the garments and their wearer.


The TUNICS project explores the impact of cultural cross-fertilization between the diverse populations in Egypt in the Early Medieval period (7th - 10th centuries AD) through an innovative, comparative study of the tunics, the basic garment in Ancient Egypt, and items par excellence to express their wearers’ identity. TUNICS will be the first comprehensive study of clothing from this period in Egypt and will provide a systematic overview of an almost entirely unexplored field in Egyptian archaeology. Both comparative, experimental archaeology and innovative digital research methods will be used to fully investigate the relationship between the garments and their wearer. This research will be primarily object-based and the comparative analysis of data gathered from various museum collections and archaeological sites will not only enhance the insight in technical crafts knowledge, but will also contribute to the understanding of the development of ancient garments and offer a unique perspective to explore different aspects of cultural identity and society.
The TUNICS project is hosted by the University of Copenhagen’s Centre for Textile Research (CTR) a world-wide renowned institute in the field of ancient textile studies. The project will benefit from the stimulating and interdisciplinary scientific environment, training opportunities and CTR’s international network.
The comparative study will be communicated through a series of academic publications and conferences. An Open Access database will be accessible to professionals as well as to a broader audience with interest in costume and textile history.



Net EU contribution
€ 219 312,00
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00