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Textiles, Tattoos and the Representation of Pilgrimage in the Roman and Early Christian Periods

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This paper discusses how different forms of body-modification, specifically clothing and tattoos, were used to represent and commemorate the act of undertaking journeys to sacred places in the Roman and early Christian periods. Textual sources are suggestive of the intensive interest in Graeco- Roman antiquity in the "social skin" of pilgrims, but what role may cloth- ing and tattoos have played after a pilgrimage had been completed? After offering a discussion of the archaeological evidence for "souvenirs" and other objects brought back from pilgrimage sites, the paper turns to the evidence of textiles with both pagan and Christian iconography that may be linked to particular sanctuaries in Egypt.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • HEROM is an annual online journal presenting innovative contributions tothe study of material culture produced, exchanged, and consumed within the spheres of the Hellenistic kingdoms and the Roman world. The journal publishes papers in the full range of the scholarly field and in all relevant academic disciplines within the arts, humanities, social sciences and environmental sciences. herom creates a bridge between material culture specialists and the wider scientific community, with an interest in how humans interacted with and regarded artefacts from the late 4th century bc to the 7th century ad.

    The journal seeks to provide more visibility for studies of material culture in many ways which are not necessarily covered by existing scholarly journals or conference proceedings. herom studies material culture in its totality, with a view to clarifying the complex wider implications of such evidence for understanding a host of issues concerning the economy, society, daily life, politics, religion, history of the ancient world, among other aspects.
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