A finely embellished Coptic dark brown and coarse linen squared panel. This fragment displays a phytomorphic decoration all over the embroidered surface. To the centre of the panel the depiction of a tree, inserted in a small squared frame, is surrounded by geometrical and floral motives. A beautiful floral decoration with lilies frames the entire composition. This decorative strip could have easily been part of a tunic as a decoration.
Such floral decorations were a common motif in the Near East and are also found in Syria and in Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians had a vital connection with nature and hieroglyphs record many palms, papyrus and lotus.
During the Early Coptic period (3rd – 4th centuries AD), the primary decorative themes were taken from nature and Classical mythology and were certainly also influenced by Roman iconology. By the Middle Coptic period (5th – 7th centuries AD), depictions included abstract natural elements and Christian symbolism.
Date: Circa 4th-6th century AD