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Use of wool in ancient Egypt?

 
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Mennefer
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:36 am    Post subject: Use of wool in ancient Egypt? Reply with quote

How common was wool for textiles in ancient Egypt? I sometimes come across the claim that "wool was probably used for textiles more than we think", but what evidence do we have? As far as I know, there are hundreds of preserved garments from (pre-Roman) Egypt, but all are exclusively made from linen.

Are there any other textual evidence other that Herodotos' testimony that the Egyptians viewed wool as ritual impure?
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:10 am    Post subject: Re: Use of wool in ancient Egypt? Reply with quote

Mennefer wrote:
How common was wool for textiles in ancient Egypt? I sometimes come across the claim that "wool was probably used for textiles more than we think", but what evidence do we have? As far as I know, there are hundreds of preserved garments from (pre-Roman) Egypt, but all are exclusively made from linen.

Are there any other textual evidence other that Herodotos' testimony that the Egyptians viewed wool as ritual impure?


Are there any artifacts made from wool? I think it's a myth that they used wool in their textiles.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:11 am    Post subject: Re: Use of wool in ancient Egypt? Reply with quote

NedGiles wrote:
Mennefer wrote:
How common was wool for textiles in ancient Egypt? I sometimes come across the claim that "wool was probably used for textiles more than we think", but what evidence do we have? As far as I know, there are hundreds of preserved garments from (pre-Roman) Egypt, but all are exclusively made from linen.

Are there any other textual evidence other that Herodotos' testimony that the Egyptians viewed wool as ritual impure?


Are there any artifacts made from wool? I think it's a myth that they used wool in their textiles.


Has anyone else found anything made from wool?
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lexikon der Ägyptologie - Band V. - Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1984. - Christine Strauß-Seber : Wolle. - Col. 1286 :



Translation with Google ...
Quote:
"... Wool is archaeologically only sporadically detected. It was local used for wigs (6), but most of all used for the production of garments, towels, blankets, etc. The oldest wool fabric comes from the late prehistory (7).

Only a few from historical time we have received currently ( 8 ). Only in the 2nd half of the 1st Millenium B.C. wool wins with the increasing foreign influence in importance, and is in Ptolemy and Christian Time very popular.

Ornate fabric of in part colored wool (* dyeing) were used for decoration of linen garments, but also for pillows, blankets, upholstery etc. (9). Sure woolens were also in everyday life carried. Herodotus mentions wool coats (10), and Diodorus emphasized the protective and warming properties of wool (11).

The rare mention of wool based perhaps on the * taboo, that it is forbidden to bring some wool to the temple or to be buried with it (12).
Products from wool exported as a commodity (13)."



M.L. Ryder :

Wool of the 14th Century B.C. from Tell el-Amarna, Egypt. - In: Nature (London / Washington) 240. - 1972. - pp. 355 - 356 :

"The author has examined samples of wool from the temple stores of el-'Amarna, offering a highly technical description of their characteristics. The wool appears to have been cut off with a knife, shears not yet having been invented."

The Wool of Ancient Egypt. - In: Bradford Textile Society - The Journal. - 1974. - pp. 28 - 30 :

"The author, having examined samples of wool from el-'Amarna, compares the data with those from Bronze Age wool from Denmark."

Greetings, Lutz.
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leiza
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:23 am    Post subject: Re: Use of wool in ancient Egypt? Reply with quote

NedGiles wrote:
NedGiles wrote:
Mennefer wrote:
How common was wool for textiles in ancient Egypt? I sometimes come across the claim that "wool was probably used for textiles more than we think", but what evidence do we have? As far as I know, there are hundreds of preserved garments from (pre-Roman) Egypt, but all are exclusively made from linen.

Are there any other textual evidence other that Herodotos' testimony that the Egyptians viewed wool as ritual impure?


Are there any artifacts made from wool? I think it's a myth that they used wool in their textiles.


Has anyone else found anything made from wool?
#

I read somewhere too that it was a myth they were using wool. If only i could remember where! Idea
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Use of wool in ancient Egypt? Reply with quote

leiza wrote:
I read somewhere too that it was a myth they were using wool. If only i could remember where! Idea

The archaeological result is clear and unambiguous. Therefore is probably rather what you supposedly read somewhere "a myth" ... ?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul T. Nicholson / Ian Shaw : Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. - Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2000. - ISBN : 0521452570. - XXI, 702 p. - Page 269 :



Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I never thought of sheep as being part of Egyptian culture. I guess they needed something to make clothes out of. I thought it was some plant like papyrus they used, only because the writings and paintings were made out of papyrus. Hemp seems like a plant they could have been using, it has the same sort of shade, a tan color.
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Mennefer
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
Paul T. Nicholson / Ian Shaw : Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. - Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2000. - ISBN : 0521452570. - XXI, 702 p. - Page 269 :


Greetings, Lutz.


Interesting comment, especially about the mentioning of a woollen outer garment in the LP. Judging by the archeological record as a whole though, it would appear that wool was used to a very limited extent, at least compared to linen/flax. Could it be that linen garments, at least during most of the Pharaonic era, was seen as a marker of ethnicity which set Egyptians apart from foreigners?
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mennefer wrote:
... Judging by the archeological record as a whole though, it would appear that wool was used to a very limited extent, at least compared to linen/flax. Could it be that linen garments, at least during most of the Pharaonic era, was seen as a marker of ethnicity which set Egyptians apart from foreigners?

I see for this no direct reference (without really extensive research). I would rather assume that there were two main reasons for the dominance of linen, starting already in Pre-and Early Dynastic.

Firstly, the climatic conditions. Even if there are extreme temperature differences day / night, the temperature seldom drops at night below 10-15 degrees, especially in Upper Egypt.

Secondly, the costs / effort relation for the production of the raw materials. Flax could be harvested 80-100 days after the sowing, dried and further processed. Sheeps, on the other hand, requires daily supervision?

As I said, without real evidence, just my opinion...

Greetings, Lutz.
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