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by Archaeology Newsroom

Dress in Byzantium

Ιn Byzantium, women’s headdresses eventually came to cover the entire face, even the empress’s face was covered. The art of weaving seems to have been a conservative one, seeing that a Coptic child’s mantle dating from the 8th or 9th century AD, appears to have been woven on a type of loom used in Egypt since the 16th century BC. The body of an elegant lady dressed in a western fashion Renaissance outfit was found buried at the church of Aghia Sophia in Mystras. However, portraits of the donors in murals of 14th to 16th century churches of Rhodes show that the Greek, middle-class inhabitants of the island of Rhodos showed their preference for Byzantine fashions. As for the picture of the Virgin Mary Hodighitria in the church of Berbaka in Argolida, the child’s thin, short shirt carries theological symbolism belonging to the Orthodox Church.