The Textiles and the Tunic of Tutankhamun
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 7:30pm
The Textiles and the Tunic of Tutankhamun

Tuesday, July 29, at 7:30 pm
Smith Memorial Student Union 238
1825 SW Broadway

Free & open to the public


Howard Carter’s 1922 discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, the boy-king of ancient Egypt, stunned the world with its treasures. Although most of the historical focus is on the famous golden treasures found in the tomb, not to be overlooked are the precious finery—the belts, collars, head coverings, gloves, and garments embellished with embroidery, beads, and woven bands—that were indicative of the life and times of the Pharaoh.

Described by Howard Carter as “…a gala robe,” the splendid linen Tunic of Tutankhamun – after three thousand years -- still bears traces of once-colorful embroidery and woven embellishments. Handwoven replicas of the patterns (illustrated below) depict that “In their pristine state they must have been gorgeous pieces of color.”

The cloth and clothing of New Kingdom Egypt flourished with new, unusual techniques and material that distinguished them from the plain linens of earlier times. These textiles suggest that other cultures, through contact and conquest, influenced the weavings. From her research at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum and other world-class museum collections, Ms. Hoskins presents the art, craft and meaning of the textiles that existed in Tutankhamun’s world. .


Nancy Arthur Hoskins is author of three books on textiles, including “The Coptic Tapestry Albums and the Archaeologist of Antinoé, Albert Gayet,” as well as numerous articles; and chapters about Egyptian textiles contributed to four other books. She is a frequent lecturer for national and international guilds and conferences; in 2009-10, she led a Textiles of Egypt Tour. In 2011, the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt published her paper, Woven Patterns on the Tutankhamun Textiles. She holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts/Weaving, Art Education, and Art History from the University of Oregon and taught college weaving from 1981 to 1996.


The Oregon Chapter of the American Research Center in Egypt is a private, nonprofit organization that supports research on all aspects of Egyptian history and culture, fosters broader knowledge among the general public, and strengthens American-Egyptian cultural ties.

The Middle East Studies Center at Portland State University promotes understanding of the people, cultures, languages and religions of the Middle East. As a National Resource Center for Middle East Studies under the U.S. Department of Education's Title VI program, the Center serves as a resource on issues pertaining to the Middle East through activities that reach students and scholars, as well as businesses, educators, and the media. The Middle East Studies Center supports academic conferences, workshops, cultural events, lectures, and a resource library. | | 503-725-4074