Author Topic: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours  (Read 646 times)

Andreas Johansson

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 08:51:04 AM »
If the tangent be excused, what differentiates "Kemitic" (?"Kemetic") Egyptians from any other sort?

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Erpingham

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 09:24:14 AM »
If the tangent be excused, what differentiates "Kemitic" (?"Kemetic") Egyptians from any other sort?

KMT (Kemet) is the ancient Egyptian word for Egypt.  Kemetic is broadly associated with traditional Egyptian religious practice, rather than political or dynastic divisions.   
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 09:39:45 AM by Erpingham »
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Andreas Johansson

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 09:43:09 AM »
If the tangent be excused, what differentiates "Kemitic" (?"Kemetic") Egyptians from any other sort?

KMT (Kemet) is the ancient Egyptian word for Egypt.  It is broadly associated with traditional Egyptian (Kemetic) religious practice, rather than political or dynastic divisions.   
I know Kemet is the Egyptian word for Egypt (that's why I guessed "Kemitic" should be "Kemetic"). What I wondered is what the implicit contrast is against: Roman or Islamic era Egyptians? Libyans, Hyksos or other "foreigners" resident in Egypt?
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Erpingham

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2019, 10:04:18 AM »
Sorry, I didn't make myself clear - I've gone back and re-edited a bit.  Kemetic Egyptians belong to a culture in which Kemetic religion is central.  various ruling classes may come and go - Hyksos, Libyan, Ethiopean - but the religion maintains a common thread.  However, the term, AFAIK, is a modern Egyptological one, not an ancient one.
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2019, 07:50:12 PM »
There are actually people in this country (UK) who follow the Kemetic religion.  See here.  Kemetic Orthodoxy, as the belief and practice system is known, emerged in the 1970s and has sustained a following ever since.  The calm and essentially sincere approach of the Ancient Egyptians to life, the universe and just about everything attracts numbers of people in our less restful age.

Incidentally, the pronunciation of K-M-T, as far as I can establish, was 'Kaam', like 'calm' in English.  As usual, the terminal 't' was silent and the vowel was long.  The vocalisation shift to 'Khem' was a comparatively late development.
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Erpingham

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2019, 10:54:44 PM »
Thanks Patrick.  Glad to be at least of some use.

I agree that Mesehti's army, like Nebamun's herdsmen, are most likely wearing sturdy unbleached linen.

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Herodotus mentions various grades of embalming
  Providing your own linen would definitely have been a way of keeping costs down.  Given that when the loyal civil servant Butehamun was set to plundering royal mummy caches, one of the things he separated out and stockpiled was linen, it is far from impossible that ancient linen made its way onto the market for use in mummy wrapping.  The recent programmes on Egyptian digs on Channel 5 included a looted KV tomb where Nebamun had painted "linens for reuse" over the door.

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anointed their bodies with castor oil, a practice which perhaps had a cumulative effect upon the colour of their clothing
Well Diprobase certainly builds up on clothing, with the added bonus of making it flammable, which has lead to numerous horrible accidents.

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Herodotus' 'white woollen garment' looks as if it may be probably Hori's 'woollen cloth over thee'
.The Egyptians wore wool, although there was as you say a religious prohibition against it.  A remarkable discovery (I'd look up a reference if you are not familiar) was of a six foot man sewn into a sheep's hide for burial, presumably a result of some sin unspecified.  He was dead before the sewing in, but even though, how they got such a tall chap bundled into a sheep's hide is astonishing.

Still good for chilly mornings though - the aforementioned C5 programme shows archaeologists arriving on site in the early morning wearing down jackets to keep the cold out, so wool cloaks and overtunics would have been appreciated by soldiers who might have been stationed out in the desert.  In thecase of Hori though, I think it may be more likely to be a blanket, since Hori is castigating his fellow scribe for dallying with a lady of pleasure, losing his weapons and ending up having to sell his shirt. Every night he sleeps under this woollen cloth, "worn out" one presumes with his labours of love.

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2019, 11:13:02 PM »
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What I wondered is what the implicit contrast is against: Roman or Islamic era Egyptians?
  Apologies for any confusion.  "Kemitic" is a term for Egypt at the time when the religion of Ancient Egypt was the accepted practice, so certainly pre Islamic. 

Incidentally, post Islamic Egypt saw the wholesale introduction of Arab people into Egypt.  While all modern Egyptians seem to hold as an article of national pride that they are descended from those who build the pyramids, it is the Berbers who hold that distinction, at least according to the latest DNA research.  So "Kemitic" functions as a handy differential from "Arab" Egypt.
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2019, 10:28:56 AM »
Thanks Patrick.  Glad to be at least of some use.
 

You are most welcome.

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Given that when the loyal civil servant Butehamun was set to plundering royal mummy caches, one of the things he separated out and stockpiled was linen, it is far from impossible that ancient linen made its way onto the market for use in mummy wrapping.  The recent programmes on Egyptian digs on Channel 5 included a looted KV tomb where Nebamun had painted "linens for reuse" over the door.

This would have been part of the Year of the Hyena aftermath.  I wonder whether Nebamun was running part of the official operation or going into business for himself.

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Well Diprobase certainly builds up on clothing, with the added bonus of making it flammable, which has led to numerous horrible accidents.

Not a happy situation if Hapuseneb the fisherman is sitting next to a fire cooking or smoking his catch.  Might this go some way to explaining the traditional appeal of feesekh, the salt-steeped raw mullet still popular in certain parts of Egypt?

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The Egyptians wore wool, although there was as you say a religious prohibition against it.  A remarkable discovery (I'd look up a reference if you are not familiar) was of a six foot man sewn into a sheep's hide for burial, presumably a result of some sin unspecified.  He was dead before the sewing in, but even though, how they got such a tall chap bundled into a sheep's hide is astonishing.

Is he distinct from Unknown Man E of the Cairo museum?  This individual, also referred to as 'the screaming man', is the only one I am aware of who had a sheepskin feauring as part of his (somewhat unusual) burial; if there is another, I would love to know.

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Still good for chilly mornings though - the aforementioned C5 programme shows archaeologists arriving on site in the early morning wearing down jackets to keep the cold out, so wool cloaks and overtunics would have been appreciated by soldiers who might have been stationed out in the desert.  In the case of Hori though, I think it may be more likely to be a blanket, since Hori is castigating his fellow scribe for dallying with a lady of pleasure, losing his weapons and ending up having to sell his shirt. Every night he sleeps under this woollen cloth, "worn out" one presumes with his labours of love.

I shall assume a blanket, then; whether Amenemope ever got around to all the things Hori predicted for him is an open question, but yes, it could well be a blanket.  Apparently Berbers of the classical era wore a cloak which doubled as a blanket, or a blanket which doubled as a cloak when required, so this is one piece of equipment the allegedly love-struck Amenemope would not have parted with.

Hori's tone suggests (at least to me) that Egyptians may have found the feel of wool uncomfortable compared to that of linen.
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Jim Webster

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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2019, 01:04:17 PM »

Hori's tone suggests (at least to me) that Egyptians may have found the feel of wool uncomfortable compared to that of linen.

I know people who cannot wear wool because it brings them out in a rash.

I found this, "One survey by the International Wool Secretariat found that 30 percent of Americans said they were allergic to wool, but it's actually the itchy skin reaction they were labelling as an allergy.

Scientists who study such things have found that if more than 5 percent of the fibre in a garment has a diameter of more than 30 microns or an average diameter of more than 22 microns, people will complain that the fibre is itchy.

This is why some people who claim a wool allergy may be able to happily wear other animal fibres like alpaca and cashmere, which tend to be finer than wool. Wool from the fine wool breeds, such as cormo, merino, and Targhee can have fine enough fibres that they won't upset those sensitive to coarser wool."


So your Egyptians not liking wool could be easily explained
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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2019, 03:00:29 PM »

Hori's tone suggests (at least to me) that Egyptians may have found the feel of wool uncomfortable compared to that of linen.

I know people who cannot wear wool because it brings them out in a rash.

I found this, "One survey by the International Wool Secretariat found that 30 percent of Americans said they were allergic to wool, but it's actually the itchy skin reaction they were labelling as an allergy.

Scientists who study such things have found that if more than 5 percent of the fibre in a garment has a diameter of more than 30 microns or an average diameter of more than 22 microns, people will complain that the fibre is itchy.

This is why some people who claim a wool allergy may be able to happily wear other animal fibres like alpaca and cashmere, which tend to be finer than wool. Wool from the fine wool breeds, such as cormo, merino, and Targhee can have fine enough fibres that they won't upset those sensitive to coarser wool."


So your Egyptians not liking wool could be easily explained

My brother had a dispensation while a lowly gunner of being allowed to wear an officer's shirt instead of the then OR issue hairy mary woolen shirt as that caused so much irritation, though not an allergy.

I suppose that in those cultures where wool would be the main garment fibre, one would be exposed to it from birth and soon develop a resistance to it. Or (linking to the Telamon thread) perhaps that is the real reason for Gallic nudity :)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 03:02:38 PM by Swampster »
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Re: Ancient Egyptian clothing colours
« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2019, 10:30:47 AM »
This is why some people who claim a wool allergy may be able to happily wear other animal fibres like alpaca and cashmere, which tend to be finer than wool. Wool from the fine wool breeds, such as cormo, merino, and Targhee can have fine enough fibres that they won't upset those sensitive to coarser wool."[/color]

So your Egyptians not liking wool could be easily explained

Good; thanks, Jim.  This would indeed explain why Hori was taunting Amenemope with the prospect of discomfort under a woolly cloak/blanket.

I suppose that in those cultures where wool would be the main garment fibre, one would be exposed to it from birth and soon develop a resistance to it. Or (linking to the Telamon thread) perhaps that is the real reason for Gallic nudity :)

This opens up a whole new potential chapter in Celtic psychology and sociology ... ;)
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