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The Crafty Historian Bringing Ancient Socks to Life

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Historian Sally Pointer is taking a sartorial cue from Ancient Egypt, via Atlas Obscura.

As ancient technology goes, textiles can be particularly intimate. Clothing often signals something the wearer wants to communicate, or reflects what a culture values. To Pointer, that makes clothing “an excellent way to start a discussion about what we think we may or may not have in common with those ancestors, even through the vast gaps in our knowledge about many of these time periods.” A certain degree of conjecture is inevitable, she adds, and later research can sometimes reveal that a prior reconstruction is all wrong. But the process itself is evocative of how ancient people spent their time, or even divided their year between, say, planting and harvesting, and, during the colder months, making indoor crafts.

Pointer found these socks appealing because they were “cheerfully striped,” and because reference images of them are easily accessible. Those allowed Pointer to scale the stripes and proportions, even if she wasn’t aiming for what she calls “a stitch-by-stitch accurate replica.”

Read more.


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