Textile with falconers and desert creatures

Type: Textiles
Date: Late eleventh–early twelfth century
Location or Findspot (Modern-Day Country): Egypt
Medium: Linen, Silk
Dimensions: W 57.5 cm
Description: This linen textile fragment was embroidered with colorful silk figures and patterns in Fatimid Egypt. The edges are defined by multicolored almond shapes and a continuous row of birds flanking stylized palmettes. The circular medallions depict men holding falcons. In the triangular areas between them are desert creatures, including scorpions and camels that support a rider in a howdaj (howdah). The textile was reportedly found in the Fayyum, an oasis in the desert west of the Nile River.

Falconry was a princely activity in many medieval cultures, and even though the textile was produced in an Islamicate context, nothing on it indicates the faith of its maker or users. Its fragmentary condition also makes it impossible to determine its original function, but it was most likely a hanging or cushion in someone's home.
Relevant Textbook Chapter(s): 7
Image Credits: Linda Safran

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Fatimid textile with falconers, desert creatures Fatimid textile, falconer Fatimid textile, scorpion and other creatures