This lecture considers Minoan and Mycenaean dress within the broader milieu of the ancient Near East and Egypt. As valuable as precious metals, a significant commodity of trade, luxurious in design and decoration, Minoan dress rivaled that of its Near Eastern and Egyptian neighbors. The study traces the impact of Minoan clothes on its neighbors and finds that, among other things, some facets of Minoan ritual dress, and thus aspects of Minoan religion, originated in the Near East, were adopted by the Mycenaeans, and continued in the Homeric epics. By considering Aegean dress within the Eastern Mediterranean milieu, it identifies indigenous costume innovations, and transmissions and transformations from the Near East and Egypt.
Since ancient Aegean textiles and garments have not survived, the study compiles a typology of the corpus of garments represented in sculpture, frescoes and glyptic to glean evidence for construction. It further considers the manufacturing techniques of extant Egyptian clothes, comparable images of ancient Near Eastern garments, textile manufacture on the warp-weighted loom, and dress documented in Mycenaean Linear B, Greek and Near Eastern texts. The combined evidence is buttressed by experiments in replicating Aegean and related Near Eastern garments as well as the weave structures of patterned cloths and bands. The replicated clothes are arranged on live models who assume the various positions of the clothed figures in the frescoes and sculptures they imitate, thereby bringing the ancient figures to life. Bernice Jones
September 20, 12:00 noon ET, 7:00 pm in Greece. Zoom format
Aegean Haute Couture and its Interconnections in the Near East and Egypt: Deciphering the Dress Codes.