Saturday, May 4, 2024


MAY 8th is No Socks Day and May 9th is Lost Sock Day: We know that Antinoopolis, the city established by Hadrian at the site on the Nile where Antinous died in October of 130 AD, is famous for its colorful woven tapestries, garments and burial shrouds.

Now it turns out that residents of ANTINOOPOLIS were style-setters in stripey socks ... using innovative weaving and dying techniques to create spectacular socks that were exported throughout the Roman Empire ... even as far away as Legion outposts at Hadrian's Wall in Britannia.

Scientists at the British Museum used a new imagining technique to analyze a child’s sock, recovered from a rubbish dump in ancient Antinoupolis in Roman Egypt, and dating from 300AD.

They discovered red, blue and yellow dyes were used, along with a range of advanced dying and weaving techniques.

The sock, made for the left foot of a child with separation between the big toe and four other toes used six to seven colours of wool yarn, they found, and was radiocarbon-dated to 3rd to 4th Century AD ... the heyday of the religion of Antinous.

Many Egyptian socks found have a similar style, made them of wool, generally bright colour, with a section between the first two fingers to wear with sandals.

Such Antinoopolis-style striped socks have been found as far away as northern Britain.

The new technique, looks at the luminescence of different dyes and uses digital microscopy to examine fibres, and discovered the Egyptians used just three colors to blend the seven used in the sock.

Researchers say it could allow many more textiles to be examined and giving us an unprecedented glimpse into ancient life ... and how colourful it may have been.

The city named for Antinous became renowned around the world in 1895 when French Egyptologist Albert Gayet (Saint of Antinous) discovered thousands of mummies ... To his utter astonishment, many were gilded, many were swathed in priceless woollen wraps and others wore Byzantine jewelry and headdresses ... Antinoopolis embroidery and linens inspired Matisse, Renoir and the leading Paris fashion designers, who incorporated the rich colors and designs into their work.

Over the years, spectacular finds at Antinoopolis have shown that mummies were given a SKIN OF GOLD for burial.

The socks find was made for the Egyptian Exploration Society in 1913-1914 by English papyrologist John de Monins Johnson.

His team found two excellent examples of Egyptian socks, the child's one that has been newly analyzed and a larger adult version, with the impression of the sandal thong still visible. 

While socks have been around since the stone age, when cavemen used pelts or animal skins, the ancient Egyptians are thought to be responsible for the first knitted socks.

No comments:

Post a Comment