Exhibitions/ Art Object

Fragment of a Band with Noble Equestrian and Soldier, Inscribed “Joseph” in Greek or Coptic

7th–9th century (?)
Made in Egypt or Syria (?)
Weft-faced compound twill ( samit ) in blue-violet and beige silk
10 3/8 x 6 3/4 in. (26.4 x 17.2 cm)
Credit Line:
Byzantine Collection, Dumbarton Oaks, Washingtion, D.C. (BZ.1956.2)
Not on view
Nineteenth-century excavations at the cemetery at Panopolis (Akhmim), a city long associated with Dionysos, yielded silks elaborately woven with classical motifs. Recent radiocarbon dating of textiles associated with the site place them between the seventh and ninth centuries, providing a sense of the continuity of styles as the region transitioned from Byzantine to Islamic rule.
The popularity of the hunting theme is attested by numerous surviving examples. Occasionally names appear above the riding figures, suggesting modifications were possible on demand. Here, "Joseph" has been inserted into the design in Greek or Coptic.
Inscription: In Greek or Coptic, above and below: Joseph
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition (7th–9th Century)," March 12, 2012–July 8, 2012.