Variable of the Day, Ancient Egypt: Sash skirt

egyptian art pharaoh Seti Abydos

Temple of Seti I at Abydos

NOTE:  This general term is used to record instances of skirts that include a sash tie at the front of the waist.  There are several different configurations, including examples that have long sashes that hang down the sides and others (such as above) that show the skirt hiked up in the front.  Often, as in this example where he wears a pleated, hiked sash skirt together with a long transparent skirt, the king wears more than one skirt layered one atop another.   These layers and the various types of sash skirts are recorded separately in the database along with the general appearance of the sash tie.

At Medinet Habu, this type of garment is almost always worn in scenes where the king offers wine.  There are a number of indicators that this skirt is chosen for certain scenes–compelling examples come from the depictions of the king in the corners of the first courtyard.  As shown in the diagram below, these four scenes include many shared elements of costume, but only the two northern corners wear the sash skirt.

egyptian art medinet habu courtyard pharaoh

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The Art of Counting is dedicated to the memory of Margery Meilleur, who first taught me to view history through the eyes of the images we create.