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Dig That Doll! - Ancient Egyptian Woman

This is a collection of garments either from women's tombs or where the surviving garment was associated with a man but we know that women wore it too, based on art of the time.

We start out with her underwear. While the triangular loincloth is more commonly associated with men, there are a few paintings showing women wearing one -- either alone, or under a revealing outer garment. In this picture, she also wears a head-scarf. The scarf is modelled after one found in Tutankhamen's tomb, but it similar to ones seen on women in paintings.

One of the most basic garments is the "bag tunic" -- a rectangular fabric with a hole for the head and sewn up the sides leaving armholes at the top. There is a decorative fringe left at the hem and it is belted with a linen sash. Our model is also wearing leather sandals.

The next garment is a wrapped dress, formed simply from a large, unsewn rectangle of fabric, wrapped around the body and then over the shoulders and tied at the breast. It's trickier than the paintings make it look!

There are several surviving dresses like this next one that are made overly long and then pleated in many small horizontal folds throughout the body. Often the sleeves are pleated lengthwise as well.

Two surviving garments, as well as a number of paintings, document the existence of dresses made from a network of glass and faiance beads. We sometimes see dancers wearing them with nothing else, but our model here wears a sleeveless sheath dress underneath for modesty. In one picture, she also wears a beaded collar.

We finish with two variants of a simple sheath dress. The versions of these found in tombs sometimes seem impractically narrow. On the left is a sleeveless version that is based on paintings rather than on a surviving garment. On the right is one type found in graves. It is constructed similarly to the pleated dress, consisting of sleeve pieces that continue to the mid-line of the dress and are fastened to a simple tube that forms the skirt.

There are a large number of publications on individual garments, usually in specialized archaeology journals. The best single-source book on this topic is:

and I have taken all the above garments from this book, except for the shoes, which are adapted from examples in:

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