A History of
Fashion and
The Ancient
Jane Bingham

The Ancient World Library of Congress Cataloging-in-
Publication Data
Copyright © 2005 Bailey Publishing Associates Ltd
Bingham, Jane.
Produced for Facts On File by A history of fashion and costume.
The ancient world/Jane Bingham.
Bailey Publishing Associates Ltd
p. cm.
11a Woodlands Includes bibliographical references and
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ISBN 0-8160-5944-6
Project Manager: Roberta Bailey 1. Clothing and dress—History—To
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Contents Introduction 5 Chapter 1: Early People 6 Chapter 2: Ancient Egypt 10 Chapter 3: Peoples of Western Asia 16 Chapter 4: Civilizations of Ancient Greece 28 Chapter 5: The Roman Empire 36 Chapter 6: Peoples of the South and East 46 Chapter 7: People of the Americas 52 Timeline 60 Glossary 61 Further Information 62 Index 64 .


Knowledge of ancient costume depends on surviving evidence (such as paintings and items of jewelry). traders exchanged goods for precious items that were used to create fine jewelry and costumes. and the Pacific region. and surveys the succession of civilizations that grew up in the Middle East. The history of costume is a vast subject. and while it is sometimes possible to build up a detailed portrait of a culture. and Rome. eastern Asia. People wore special costumes to worship their gods. the picture is far from complete for many civilizations. it outlines the early history of costume from prehistoric times to the emergence of the first cities. Divided into chapters according to region. and both men and women liked to adorn themselves with jewelry and ornaments. Although the cultures described in this book are extremely varied.Introduction This volume traces the history of costume from the last Ice Age. . and the aim of this volume is simply to highlight major trends and to provide interesting examples. they all have some factors in common. but the book also focuses on the cultures of India. The final chapter covers the rich civilizations of the Americas. Greece. Once a society was reasonably settled. to the collapse of the Roman Empire in the late fifth century CE. Individual chapters are devoted to ancient Egypt. who dressed in a dramatic way to show off his riches and power. when people first started wearing clothes. Most early civilizations had a strong ruler.Warriors needed weapons and armor to help them defend their kingdoms.

simple tunics. since the materials used to make clothing decay easily and rapidly. and added Making Clothes belts.These were jewelry and ornaments made from shells. However. and the earliest examples of clothing did not survive. evolved a new sub-species. which commonly infest human clothing. body lice. Recent DNA evidence indicates that some time between 30. Then a sharp. Prehistoric people wore simple clothes made from animal skins. Then they were washed and stretched out taut to stop them from shrinking as they dried.The holes made it easier to pass a bone needle through the hide and sew the pieces together.000 years ago. tied onto their feet and legs with leather laces. there is no proof of when clothing first developed. However. bones The first clothes were probably sometimes made from fur. trousers. although and feathers. head lice. people did wear fur boots. 6 . who lived around 100. the leather was softened before being cut into suitable pieces for clothing. pointed stone was used to punch a line of holes along the edges of the leather pieces. using sinew.000 years ago. using a sharpened animal bone or sharp-edged stone. Once the hides had been thoroughly stretched. Chapter 1: Early People Prehistoric People T he hunters of the last Ice Age. and cloaks.000 and 114. were probably the first people to wear clothes. To make clothing. this could be very bulky. animal hides were first pegged out on the ground and scraped clean. which typically infest human hair. More often the fur was removed from the animal hide. string skirts.

To help them reconstruct the practices of ancient people. Shells were one of the first bracelets.Traces of red ocher Where’s the Evidence? Archaeologists draw on a range of different sources to build up a picture of the sort of clothes that very early people wore. discovered in Europe. while shells and teeth pierced with holes indicate that these objects once formed necklaces. Scraps of leather clothing have been found in graves. Body Paints There is evidence that the early cave painters painted their bodies as well as their caves. people began painting pictures on the walls of caves. It is probable that plains sewed seashells and feathers people also used pigments to onto their tunics.000 years ago. Cave Paintings Around 35. and experts believe that these figures were probably priests dressed as animals. dancing figures wear deer antlers attached to their heads.The bodies of the dead before they mammoth hunters of the Russian were buried.000 years ago have been ornaments reflect an and dances. archaeologists also study traditional groups.They also made paint patterns on their own strings of beads from shells and bodies. just as people have animal teeth. Some of these early cave paintings depict semi-human creatures. such as the aboriginals of Australia and the Inuit of Alaska. 7 . ancient tradition of jewelry making. suggesting 30. and long wolves’ tails. Early People Early Decorations pigment have been discovered Evidence survives from around on bodies in graves.They also appear to be wearing cloaks made from feathers. and used ivory from done for millions of years in mammoth tusks to make simple Africa and Australia.000 years ago of hunters that people decorated the decorating their clothes.The painted. These very early carved and painted decorations for religious ceremonies 38. who have followed the same basic way of life for thousands of years. Archaeologists believe that Specialized tools for permanent materials to be made into the mammoth hunters wore these tattooing dating from around jewelry.

while the madder root gives a rich scarlet. This painted plaque from the twelfth century BCE shows a woman from Nubia (in North Africa) and a man from Syria. Dyes from Nature Early people colored their clothes with dyes made from earth. The indigo plant makes a deep blue. 8 . oranges. and in some parts of the world people still use these natural dyes. First Civilizations Even in the earliest civilizations. and bark. both dressed in colorful costumes. and yellows. flowers. Some lichens produce a green color. A type of clay called ocher produces warm reds. color and pattern were very important. while the bark and husks of walnut dye cloth a deep brown.

daggers. silver. splendid curled beard. the king also sported a goddess of weaving and clothing. showing the elaborate hairstyle and very strong alloy that could be attention to their carefully trimmed beard used to make axes. which lay between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in present-day Iraq. They similar braided hairstyle is shown in a fought with long spears and wore bronze head of King Sargon (reigned pointed helmets. trimmed to fall in two tiers. The ancient Sumerians learned how to make objects from copper. while revealing that warriors wore dancers and musicians wore their hair in an elaborate style: sleeveless robes with multi-tiered hanging down in curls around the skirts. they created bronze. A cloaks fastened at the neck. A golden favored by the nobles of Sumer. Soldiers wore knee-length ears. Rulers had tall headdresses. and by 3000 BCE it contained several large city-states. In addition to his elaborate ancient Sumeria.Their metalworkers became very skilled. 2334–c. carefully named Uttu. a men paid a lot of Sargon of Akkad. engraved with hair and ears.They even had a hairstyle. more robust helmets.The production of c. just to the north of to the economy and culture of Sumer. braided at the front.The civilization began around 3500 BCE with a collection of villages. 9 .The Sumerians made another important discovery: by combining copper Sumerian A bronze head of King and tin. and gold by heating metal ore and pouring it into molds. helmet found in a royal tomb in the The ancient Sumerians wore ancient city of Ur is colorful robes with scalloped hems. who ruled the cloth for export was very important land of Akkad. and hair. producing engraved necklaces. and helmets. spears. Early People Ancient Sumerians One of the earliest civilizations in the Middle East was the kingdom of Sumer. and fastened tunics with scalloped hems and long in a knot at the back of the head. each ruled by a warlike king with his own army. 2284 BCE).

unbleached linen. the New Kingdom. Chapter 2: Ancient Egypt Clothing and Jewelry A round 5000 BCE farming villages began to grow up around the Nile River in northern Africa. the Middle. which was cool and easy to wear. while nobles’ clothes were made from a fine. the villages of the An Egyptian pharaoh from Nile joined together to form a great kingdom. or kingdoms: the Old. Historians divide it into three linen. 10 . Using Linen In the hot and sunny climate of North Africa. from around 3100 BCE. like the figures shown here. and have ornate main periods.The Egyptian civilization flourished queen. Ordinary people wore simple clothes made from coarse. Clothing was made from linen. semi-transparent cloth known as royal linen. Linen thread was made from the beaten stalks of the flax plant and woven on looms into cloth. which in ancient times was also very humid. wore short kilts made from coarse linen. the ancient Egyptians did not need to wear heavy clothes. Egyptian farmers. and collars and elaborate crowns. Gradually. white. ruled by the New Kingdom being anointed with oil by his powerful pharaohs. Both figures wear pleated robes of fine royal for three thousand years.

bracelets.or ankle-length. ankle-length dress with two shoulder straps. The collars consisted dress developed in Egypt. 11 . while men wore a kilt. and earrings. makeup. berries. Over their basic tunic olive leaves and cornflowers.Women wore a simple. while the rich wore type of reed) or from woven grass. Footwear Jewelry People in ancient Egypt went No Ancient Egyptian costume was barefoot most of the time. decorative collar. glazed sandals were made from papyrus (a pottery). cloaks made of very fine. women began to wear a pleated garment that sometimes had a brightly colored fringe and small spectacular pieces made from gold ornaments hanging from it. tight-fitting.Tunics and of a series of strings threaded with beads and ornaments. Ancient Egypt Clothing Styles For thousands of years the basic style of Egyptian clothes remained unchanged. but complete without a selection of sometimes they wore sandals. These collars were worn by Kingdom. Colorful Collars One of the most impressive items of Egyptian jewelry was During the time of the New the broad. Poor people’s and faience (a colored. In winter. a more elaborate style of both women and men of all classes. and leaves. made from a piece of linen wrapped around the waist and tucked in. Rich jewelry. pleated but also with flowers. Some of the cloth became fashionable for men collars found in the pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb included and women. and one pair of Poor people’s jewelry was made from golden sandals has been discovered in cheaper substances such as copper a pharaoh’s tomb. jewelry. Some and silver and often set with men wore a long. decorated leather. Kilts could be either knee. and hairstyles to create a dramatic effect. Even poorer people wore people’s sandals were made from necklaces. kilt over their short tunic. Tunics and kilts were usually kept plain. golden hawks’ heads and inlaid with colored glass and semiprecious the Egyptian people relied on their stones. Although their clothes could be This fine collar belonged to an Egyptian princess. almost transparent semiprecious stones and glass. It is decorated with decorated with beads and feathers. men and women wore cloaks made from thick linen.

The artist has sweet-smelling. although some noblemen had hung over them. which they hair with flowers. but there bob. 12 .The best wigs women usually had a chin-length were made from real hair. resting on top of the women’s heads (see Cool kept in elegant pots. and both men and Noblewomen liked to decorate their also shown cones of fat women used cosmetics. Less wealthy people also wore wigs. and some rich people shaved their heads and wore elaborate wigs. Egyptian Beauty Care In this painted banquet Looking good was very important to hair long. elaborate. and ribbons.They worked sometimes worn loose and wear braided wigs decorated with lotus flower hard to keep themselves clean and sometimes curled and braided. blossoms. with beads and jewels. also paid a lot of attention to their Pharaohs and nobles often shaved hair. In the early periods. beads. their heads and wore elaborate wigs. Hair and Wigs Egyptian wigs could be amazingly Most Egyptian men were clean. but by the time of the New were also cheaper ones made from Kingdom noblewomen wore their black wool.The Egyptians Cones). four young women the ancient Egyptians. but only for special occasions. with lots of braids and shaven and kept their hair fairly curls.These long tresses were scene. Some wigs had ornaments short. or were decorated longer hair.

but later black became very popular. The glass and ceramic jars the Nile. and perfume. Perfumes were made from an important architect. and sometimes in melted during the course of the hollow reeds.This s-shaped lock was soap they used a cleansing cream called the “side-lock of youth. Red- brown henna. while red ocher was used for lipstick and blush. Cosmetics Egyptian cosmetics were made from finely ground minerals mixed with oils. and Paintings of ancient Egyptian henna was also used to dye hair and banquets show the guests with wigs. some apply their makeup. which drew attention to the beauty of the eyes and also helped to shield them from the glare of the sun.To help them smelled sweet. flowers. Green eyeliner was used in the early period. However. Poor people had to manage by that the person was wearing a observing their reflections in water! scented wig. The Egyptians took a lot of care over making up their eyes. oils and cosmetics. Smelling Sweet In the hot climate of Egypt it was Children had their hair shaved off or very important to keep clean. they outlined them with heavy lines. It is believed that these were cones Cosmetics were prepared and stored of perfumed fat that gradually in jars and bowls. keeping the guests cool with the fingers or with a special and also ensuring that they wooden applicator. Makeup was applied meal. Most cut very short.” made from oil. made from the leaves 13 . Green and black eyeliners were made from malachite (copper ore) and galena (a type of lead). seeds. the rich used experts believe that the cones mirrors made from highly polished were drawn by artists to indicate metal. and animal fats. perhaps to their skin to stop it from drying out box belonged to the wife of protect them from drowning in in the sun. Sometimes children wore a fish They also rubbed scented oils into This decorated makeup amulet in their hair. was used to paint Cool Cones nails and possibly hands and feet. and fruits soaked in oils would have held perfumes. except for one section people washed in the river or used a that formed a kind of ponytail on basin and jug of water. lime. Ancient Egypt of the henna tree. Instead of one side. rounded cones on their heads.

Rulers of the New Kingdom golden collars. It of the pharaoh’s dress was his crown or half-sister. pharaohs Egyptian society.They also had to menes. At one point in Egyptian history. Egypt. including usually decorated their hair and eyebrows. reflecting their important role as a warrior. with its twin symbols of red-and-white crown symbolizing astonishing splendor. In the final cobra. jeweled headdresses.They had to purify wore a long. but pharaohs wore a long beard that grew from the base of their chin. such as Priests wore only the finest. between 1473 and 1458 BCE. crook and flail. battle helmet. whose power flail. So pharaohs and their families were while the flail stood for the treated like gods and wore highly punishment of his enemies.The menes was shave their whole bodies. and Priests Religion was central to ancient In paintings and carvings. armlets. often white linen. and finger wore a bright blue crown like a rings.The crook symbolized the had passed directly to the pharaohs. Priests Later rulers. Most of the with the heads of time the priests dressed simply to the pharaoh’s twin carry out their duties in the temples. pharaoh’s protection of his people. stages of the embalming ceremony False Beard Most Egyptian men were clean-shaven. Early kings often wore a a goddess and was dressed in wearing the striped menes. the two parts of their kingdom: red carvings show Egyptian queens and carrying his royal for lower Egypt and white for upper wearing tall. but comes from the tomb of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun One of the most important elements the chief queen was usually his sister (1332-1322 BCE). including a false beard! . striped themselves by bathing in a sacred lake headdress called a at least twice a day. Pharaohs. as a sign of their royal status. Paintings and the vulture and the cobra. Queens This solid gold burial mask Pharaohs The pharaoh had many queens. pure Tutankhamun.The Egyptians are often shown holding the symbols believed that their land had originally of their office: the royal crook and been ruled by gods. elaborate ceremonial costumes. Carvings show that Queen Hatshepsut was properly crowned as pharaoh and wore the full royal regalia. Queens. a woman ruled as the pharaoh. She was believed to be shows the young king or headdress. protectors: the but sometimes they wore special vulture and the costumes and headdresses.

Some necklaces and body of a dead pharaoh. the chief jewelry. In other cases. known as amulets. For grand the form of ornaments or brooches. a sacred symbol was Egyptian rulers wore more elaborate costumes. which off snake bites! Anubis. 15 . Queen Nefertiti.(when a dead body was being painted or carved into a piece of A chief priest. or the udjat eye (the eye of the god who reigned in the 1350s Horus) symbolizing healing and good BCE. the jackal god. Anubis.This earrings featured charms to ward The mask represents dramatic. he led the shoulders. Sometimes these charms took transparent robes and simple crowns. ceremonial occasions. represented the god dead to judgment. priest wore a jackal mask. The Pharaoh Akhenaten and his wife. tends the prepared to be a mummy). According to ancient covered his whole head and Egyptian belief.The amulets depicted religious symbols such as the ankh (a cross with a loop at the top) representing eternal life. Amulets Many items of jewelry worn by ordinary Egyptians featured good- luck charms. painted mask. dressed in semi- health. wearing his ceremonial mask.

To protect their heads they had iron helmets with a distinctive crest. and some produced fine buildings and works of art. 16 .This was the start of a turbulent period in the Middle East. as many different peoples battled for control of the fertile lands around the Persian Gulf and the eastern Mediterranean Sea. a series of powerful kingdoms rose and fell. Chapter 3: Peoples of Western Asia A round 2000 BCE the ancient civilization of Sumer (see page 9) collapsed. Over the next 1. Many of these civilizations were very warlike.500 years. Hittite warriors wore leather tunics covered with iron plates. some were great traders. which was probably made from horsehair.

Canaanites. One of wicker shields. dressed in leather tunics covered with The Sea Peoples wore metal plates. the Hittite empire was Two armed warriors from the who developed a new and effective destroyed by an army of Sea Peoples army of the Sea Peoples.The Canaan. blue.The settled in Anatolia (modern-day people of Canaan made their colorful Turkey). Hittite warriors carried long contrasting bands of wooden spears tipped with iron. including scarlet. and carried large wooden shields. long. For more than two simple. patterns. and was a member of the gold. Most of the Canaanites were horns may have had a farmers and merchants. most dangerous enemies. giving them excellent short. Peoples of Western Asia Hittites.Wool and linen were fight against David is dyed in a range of brilliant colors. called the Sherden. and Sea Peoples Around 2000 BCE the Hittite people were woven into the cloth.The merchants to people all around the warrior Goliath. they who originally came from Greece.Weavers in been intended to make Canaan produced a colorful. The soldier on the left wears battle dress. colorful tunics protection against enemy spears and decorated with bold. and protected They wore iron helmets with flaps to themselves with round. white tunic. and Canaan religious significance or had several thriving ports on the they may have simply Mediterranean coast. and bold patterns and borders Sea Peoples. Some years they had conquered an empire wore several layers of different that stretched as far south as present. recorded in the Bible. whose Mediterranean. and within four hundred cloth into striking clothes. the distinctive horned battle in their war chariots.They fought with which were much stronger than the iron-tipped spears and bronze weapons of their opponents. protect their neck. edged with centuries they were one of Egypt’s a dramatic band of color. crowned by lay the more peaceful land of two small horns. arrows. their tribes. green. 17 . helmet of the Sherden tribe. swords. the warriors appear patterned cloth that was sold by more frightening. wore Cloth from Canaan distinctive battle To the south of the Hittite empire helmets. while others preferred a day Syria.When they rode into (also sometimes called Philistines). color. Sea Peoples The Hittites were tough warriors Eventually.

representing pure white linen. an ephod (a type of apron). On top of the tunic was the ephod. According to Jewish belief. tunic. were clothes known as the golden taken into captivity. hemmed with decorative pomegranates and bells which tinkled as he moved. Over the white tunic and pants.The kingdom split in two in about 931. which was fixed Canaan between 1200 and 1050 in place with a narrow headband. was conquered Around 950 BCE King David's son by the Assyrians (see pages 22–3) Solomon (reigned c. the Ark of the Covenant. Hebrews The story of the Hebrews is told in Most Hebrews dressed very simply in the Old Testament of the Bible. 1005–c. a breastplate. wore a special set of ceremonial who came to be known as Jews. the high priest wore a sky- blue robe. God gave the prophet Moses detailed instructions for the making of these sacred garments. with two A Hebrew priest wearing sardonyx stones on its shoulder- the “white garments”— a turban. adorned with precious stones. and a breastplate. built a spectacular temple in Jerusalem Judah. garments were worn as a sign of humility the turban was placed on the high before God. These the twelve tribes of Israel. and a golden head plate. however. priest’s head. 965–c. Jerusalem. a robe. and treasure. and the golden head 18 . and the northern Ceremonial Garments kingdom. a pair of linen breeches. 931 BCE) around 722. Finally. set with and belt all made from twelve precious stones. Around 1000 BCE the Hebrew Hebrew kings. and these instructions are all recorded in the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament. garments. The golden garments consisted of eight separate items: a tunic.To keep off the were a wandering desert people who glare of the sun. was attacked by the to house his people’s most precious Babylonians (see page 24) in 597.The Hebrews. people often wore a gained control of some land in cloth over their head. wore rich king David (reigned c. a belt. 965 robes. a turban. BCE. breeches straps.The ten years later the Babylonians high priest in charge of the temple destroyed Jerusalem.The southern kingdom. BCE) established the kingdom of while the most magnificent costume Israel with its capital city in of all was worn by the high priest. called Israel.They tunics or long dresses.

the sky-blue dye for the wool came from a shellfish known as chilazon.” Many years of research have gone into discovering exactly which materials were used. 19 . as well as the more usual greens.” The high priest wore his golden garments every day of the year except on the Day of Atonement. tunic. Special Materials The Book of Exodus lists five different materials to be used in the making of the golden garments: gold. On this day. and browns produced by earth and plants. a thick linen This 13th century fresco shows Abraham being blessed by a High Priest. dark red wool. Peoples of Western Asia plate fixed in place with its inscription. turban. breeches. “Holy to the Lord. sky-blue wool. and the crimson color was produced by the cochineal insect. yellows. crimson wool. the dark red color was derived from a type of snail. Other priests wore the white garments all through the year. made from six While Abraham is shown in the costume of a medieval knight.To weave the tunic. and belt. all made from pure white linen. and then cut into fine threads. and “twisted linen. the high priest showed his humility before God by wearing the white garments: a turban. the High Priest twisted strands. and breeches. Joseph’s Coat In the Old Testament Book of Genesis. wears his ceremonial robes. thread was used. is described as having a glorious “coat of many colors. but it may have featured colored wool dyed sky blue and crimson. the youngest son of Jacob.The evidence suggests that gold leaf was beaten into thin sheets. Joseph.” Nobody knows what this coat would have looked like. the Hebrews’ most holy day.

rulers and merchants often The word Phoenician is Greek for wore long tunics. deep purple. setting up great Mediterranean and the Middle East. Purple cloth the eastern coast of the from Phoenicia was sold all over the Mediterranean Sea. with multi-tiered “purple men. Made from the Canaanites (see page 16). the dye colored cloth around 1200 BCE they lived along a rich. and simple armlets consisting of a twist of metal wound several times around the upper arm.While the ordinary workers wore simple Purple People loincloths.” a name the skirts. Wealthy men wore jewelry. including broad neck collars similar to those worn by the ancient Egyptians. Phoenicians The Phoenicians were a seafaring Phoenicians acquired because of their people descended from the famous purple dye. Merchants and rulers wore finger rings set with semiprecious stones that were engraved with a design.Their hair was often covered by a cap or hood. successful traders in the region. Gorgeous Jewels Phoenician women were usually modestly dressed. trading ports. and these rings could be stamped into wax and used as a personal seal. For two thousand years but it was so expensive that it was the Phoenicians were the most usually only worn by royalty. encircled by a band. and in who liked to show off their wealth Cyprus. Sicily. 20 . but those who went bareheaded paid a lot of attention to their hair and beard. coasts of Africa and Spain. Each tier was bordered by a fringe. draping their bodies in folds of cloth. rippled freely over their shoulders. by wearing colorful clothes. From murex shellfish. below which it fringed skirts. they also had colonies along the Phoenician men were stylish dressers. and Malta. which were both carefully curled. As well as their kingdom in the Middle Stylish Dressers East. but sometimes it was simply Phoenician men wore long tunics with multi-tiered. Many Phoenician men wore a conical cap.

in an astonishing variety of shapes. patterned plaque. flat. As well as making beads from solid glass. contain up to five different colors of glass. who wore a precious stones. from glass. usually made and the heads of humans and A Phoenician glass bead. Many surviving Phoenician beads are long and oval in shape and blue-green in color. then some larger beads. with tiny coils of glass for hair and beards. pomegranates. and finally a couple of rows of necklaces with hanging ornaments (similar to a present-day charm bracelet). showing human heads. with holes in the edges. Beads like this were traded all which was apparently sewn onto around the Mediterranean clothes. the Phoenicians also created tiny sculptures in colored glass. Some surviving necklaces have up to sixty Phoenician women were famous for their splendid jewelry. and Phoenician women. lotus Another type of ornament was the flowers. greatly magnified. and they made a range of beautiful colored beads. including acorns. earrings. animals. miniature vases and cones. Others are a deep olive green. glass. Phoenician ladies wore three or four necklaces at a time.The ornaments came variety of pendants. Peoples of Western Asia Jewelry was very popular with ornaments made from gold. Often. finger rings. Glass Beads The Phoenicians were probably the earliest people to discover how to blow glass. area. 21 . one above the other—a string of small pearls at the top. and are impressively detailed. and brooches. Some of these beads. armlets. bracelets.

22 . and even reached as far west as Egypt. Over the next seven hundred years. they built up a large empire which stretched from the Persian Gulf to the eastern Mediterranean. to conquer new land. and long leather wooden shield shaped like a shallow cone. but they also loved to relax in their beautiful palaces and gardens. covered with embroidered From around 1350 BCE they began patterns.The Assyrian kings were great war leaders. Both wear golden jewelry and colorful robes Tigris River in present-day Iraq. Assyrians An Assyrian king and The Assyrian people were farmers queen relaxing in their who came from an area close to the garden. This carved relief from the ancient city of Nineveh shows two armed warriors—one with who fought with bows and arrows. a bow and arrows and the other carrying a spears and swords. Battle Dress The Assyrians were expert warriors.

wore golden necklaces. Other Assyrian statues also feature beards with decorated horizontal bands.They wore golden on their feet. and it is possible that the Assyrians’ beards were bound or interwoven with embroidered cloth. 627 BCE) shows his carefully curled. Fabrics. wearing long robes and a dressed in a similar way to men. 23 . Clothes were dyed in a close-fitting. Colors. Some carried round wooden wherever he went in his palace. Peoples of Western Asia Splendid Beards Assyrian hair and beards were very well tended. Patterns embroidered on in the earliest examples. The most common material for clothing was wool. and high leather golden. Soldiers wore short. like a parasol over covered with many small iron plates. and both men and women topped with a plume of feathers. holding a protected by an extra leather tunic fringed canopy. short-sleeved tunic. yellow ocher.The king wore a tunics. and often included the robes of the king were covered sacred rosettes and palm trees. bracelets. in fez-shaped golden helmet. A statue of King Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 668–c. and purple. belted with embroidery. but some green. scarlet. Most warriors wore pointed iron helmets with flaps to cover their ears. leggings. a shields into battle and some were servant accompanied him. which covered them from Horses played an important part in neck to ankle. Assyrian noblewomen chariot. Except wool.Tunics blue. range of colors: pale and deep indigo edged with golden fringes. fez-shaped crown and boots. Assyrian Assyrian clothes featured repeated costumes were lavishly decorated. and geometric shapes. and The royal horses also had a crown of Patterns feathers on their heads. collars with a bunch of scarlet feathers hanging down at the front. slings. All of these colors stopped at the knees and sometimes a were also used to dye embroidery fringed shawl was also worn. shoulder-length hair and a splendid moustache and beard. and Kings rode into battle in a royal war earrings. The beard is carefully trimmed into a neat rectangle and appears to have bands of horizontal decoration. although linen Palace Life was sometimes used for better-quality Assyrian men at court usually wore a garments. The Assyrians were skilled workers in and some of their helmets were gold. fringed and embroidered robes and shawls. dull olive were usually worn long. his head. Both women and men Assyrian warfare and they were also at court wore simple leather sandals dressed for battle.

Empire. the wealthy lived a life of comfort when it was ruled by King and ceremony. flowing tunic. during the eighteenth century BCE. full of temples a necklace made from concentric Two Babylonian servants accompany their richly and palaces and home to the famous golden rings and two outsize golden dressed master. and a second. Babylon had the weather became cooler. Then. By the time King dyed linen. the Babylonians began to like headdress. decorative belt. their empire for the next sixty One of their tasks was to walk in years. large whisk. During his golden jewelry. hanging gardens. a shell. Men and women wore Hamurabai. driving away the flies! Dress in Babylon The people of Babylon were skilled One of King Nebuchadnezzar’s workers in silver and gold. a loose. short. around 620 tall. woolen Nebuchadnezzar II came to the tunic was sometimes also worn when throne in 605 BCE. Servants taken control of the Assyrian in Babylon wore simple. before being conquered by front of their wealthy masters with a the Persians. However. ornamental staffs and wore a fez- BCE. The Babylonians ruled undyed tunics. 24 . and was sleeves. and both greatest achievements was the men and women loved to wear rebuilding of Babylon. caught in at the waist by a finally conquered by the Assyrians broad. Babylonians Babylon had a period of greatness Inside the splendid city of Babylon. A surviving statue of reign it became one of the richest the goddess Ishtar shows her wearing cities in the world.Tunics were made from fight back. belted at the waist. earrings—one resembling a bunch of grapes and the other. after 1750. with wide half- the city gradually declined. Men carried in 689 BCE.

patterned robes. in 550 Turkmenistan) in a hoard of BCE. Soldiers and Satraps A tiled frieze survives showing Persian soldiers in ceremonial dress. pleated sleeves. and carries a tall spear and a bow slung over his shoulder. and often wore golden hoops in their ears. Persian men tended to wear their beards long. with wide. Attached to each soldier’s back is a deep pouch for carrying arrows. The soldiers wear long. birdlike lands. armlet has been discovered and the Medes in the at Oxus (in present-day north. ears. the Medes wore a plain. 25 . fluted hats. rounded bonnet. By the year 500. Persians had tall. flowing robes with pleated sleeves.While the horse rides across the plains. and Persian guards with spears and shields. and wings.The Persians were great horsemen. At court. defeated by Alexander the Great. woolen tunics and long pants. golden band encircling his forehead. world had ever seen. carved on a The Persians and Medes wore very pants were very practical for long staircase in the royal distinctive headdresses. but the local rulers. with a tail hanging down at the back. each largest empire the confronting the other fiercely. the Persians took treasure that probably belonged over the Medes’ land to a Persian king. creatures. the Persians wore long. Each soldier wears a wide. with beaks. The armlet is and began to conquer covered with elaborate carvings all of the surrounding and shows two mythical. known as satraps. A solid gold Persians in the south. Peoples of Western Asia Persians The land of Persia (present-day Iran) was Golden Armlet originally ruled by two The Persians made exquisite separate tribes: the golden jewelry. palace at Persepolis.Then. the Persians ruled the horns.The mighty Persian Empire lasted for two hundred years until it was finally dressed far more simply in short.

their clothes and made elaborate Scythian warriors carry trappings for their horses. and rabbits. stags. snakes. funeral procession. making intricate warriors fought with long-bladed golden jewelry and weapons. and fought fiercely to defend When they rode into battle. battleaxes and bows and arrows. herding heads they wore a thick pointed cap sheep and cattle. sometimes their legs. Helmets were the Scythians created an art that was also made from metal plates.They wore leather. 26 . warriors wore a protective armor of overlapping metal plates. tall headdresses swathed in scarves.They lived as nomads on in. and tunics Black Sea.They set up their which covered their ears. All these Scythian women spent less time on their dead leader’s armlets objects were ornamented with horseback. and decorative tent hangings. Scythian their lands. Scythians One group of people who the Herders and Warriors Persians never succeeded in Scythian herders and warriors needed conquering were the warlike warm clothes that were easy to ride Scythians. thick woolen pants. and carved they often engraved their arrow cases wooden bowls. eagles. They are wearing distinctive horses. topped by a belted coat. but they also dressed and robes in a solemn swirling animal motifs featuring warmly in long woolen dresses. On their their lives on horseback.They wore pointed felt caps. which Animal Art covered their upper body and Because of their nomadic lifestyle.They also decorated with animal designs.The Scythians spent much of and were fastened by a belt. bears. tents wherever they could find good pasture. in an area that is now which wrapped across their bodies Russia.The easily portable. fur-lined the windswept plains north of the boots.

for special ceremonies. matted substance which was dyed vivid colors. his body was dressed in the years and still display tattoos on most splendid finery and laid on a their skin. Felt was made by pressing and rolling wool and hair until it formed a thick. horse trappings. and clothes. especially when worn in combination with elaborate golden belts.Women embroidered elaborate animal patterns in colored wool and also stitched felt appliqué pieces onto dresses. golden plaques onto their clothes. necklaces. the icy ground for thousands of buried. such as the chief’s tomb. eagles. 27 . and some even cut off an ear to show their grief. shows The bodies have stayed frozen in burial of a chief. which was pulled by a pair of remarkably elaborate and show horses in ceremonial dress. Animal Tattoos Ceremonial Dress The Scythians were expert goldsmiths. Men in the and stags. found in a chiefs were excavated in Siberia.These plaques were engraved with animal motifs and must have sparkled dramatically in the sun. This exquisite The graves of several Scythian The Scythians kept their best clothes golden comb. and coats. tasseled headdresses.The horses swirling designs of interlocked were draped in appliquéd hangings creatures that appear to be a and wore golden harnesses and tall. bracelets. combination of horses. and earrings. In addition to these decorations.When a chief was Scythian warriors in battle. funeral procession shaved their heads. using shapes made from colored felt.The Scythians created dramatic appliqué designs on their wall hangings. the Scythians also sewed small. tunics. Peoples of Western Asia Splendid Decorations The Scythians’ clothes were made from leather and wool and covered in decoration. The tattoos are chariot.

all wearing full-skirted dresses with thrived. Minoan women body. Some scholars believe that this legend had its wore golden necklaces and bracelets origin in a ceremony performed at the palace. agriculture priestesses. in which and left their hair long and loose. Minoan women’s dress was far more elaborate. In the Minoan palace at Knossos shows a procession of warm. Minotaur Mask? The short-sleeved tunic that covered According to Greek legend. 28 . or more often just a simple headband. armlets. and developed over several thousand years. Minoan men usually wore a simple loincloth or a short kilt made from wool or linen. This creature had a bull’s head and a man’s the breasts bare.The kilts dipped down to form a point at the front. They wore tall. cut very low to leave palace.The Minoans farmed. but by 2000 BCE there were a number This fresco from the of palaces on the island. with full. the first king of Crete kept a the top of the body had a tight- beast called a ‘minotaur’ in a huge maze under his fitting bodice. and some wore golden bands covering most of their calves. the king wore a mask of a bull’s head. conical hats. made pottery. fished. and low-cut bodices. flounced skirts. sunny Mediterranean climate. and bracelets. Minoan men were usually clean shaven and their hair was worn loose down their backs.The Minoan civilization started slowly. falling in many layers to the ground. Minoan Dress Colorful paintings on the walls of the Minoan palaces reveal the sort of clothes that people wore on the island. and they were often decorated with geometric patterns and a patterned border.They wore golden collars. each ruled by a king. Chapter 4: Civilizations of Ancient Greece Minoans T he first great civilization in Europe grew up on the Greek island of Crete.They wore brightly colored dresses. worked gold.

Men wore their hair loose. Palace Dress In the great halls of their brightly painted palaces. Inside the palaces were quantity was kept for use at home. Civilizations of Ancient Greece Myceneans Around 1650 BCE the Greek women and men spent time and care kingdom of Mycenae. as well as splendid tubs. and usually left their chests bare. low-cut bodices. Mycenae was ruled by stored in elegant jars. tiered skirts. soaking in a tub and then rubbing women were famous for but they were also great sailors and scented oil into her skin. with artfully arranged hair. Beauty Routine The famous beauty Helen of Troy was a Mycenean queen.The Myceneans northeastern Peloponnese. and surviving murals show that the women of Mycenae were graceful and stylish. Some oil was several kings. and close-fitting. while some locks hung down around their faces. and part of a lady’s beauty the Mycenean cities cared rooms for the royal family. weavers. traders.The routine would probably have involved a great deal for their appearance. grew very produced perfumed oils. each of whom had his traded by merchants.Their hair was loosely bound with colorful ribbons. which they powerful. who imported tin to make bronze for weapons. Mycenean women wore multicolored dresses.Women wore gold and amber necklaces and bracelets. and held in place by a simple headband. while men had golden armlets. hanging around their shoulders. their beauty. and the Myceneans were a warlike people. and Inside the palaces were small stone Both men and women in metalworkers.There is evidence that both 29 . and gold and amber to make jewelry. with flared. in the on their appearance. workshops for potters. Kings and nobles wore simple kilts with patterned borders. but a certain own palace. the Mycenean kings and queens held lavish feasts.

helmets and shields. Some battle.The king. and the sheet was then laid over the face of the dead ruler in his tomb. first Schliemann believed that he had found the body of King Agamemnon of Troy. Most Mycenean Death Mask warriors did not wear body The Myceneans created armor. the king and his nobles shields. and some of these flowing horsehair plume. At found by the archeologist Heinrich Schliemann. but these Most of the army wore simple kilts were very heavy and rigid. weapons were beautifully decorated. cap with flaps for the ears. but relied gleaming golden death on their large shields for masks for their kings. while the bowed in at the sides. and and relied for their protection on probably uncomfortable to wear. 30 . Helmets were usually fairly plain—a pointed bronze Warriors fought with shields. one of the major figures in Homer’s Iliad. and musicians sang songs about shields were shaped like a solid figure great victories. Mycenean Warriors War was a central part of Mycenean Shields were made from ox hide life. wore a helmet with a curved One dagger found in a king’s grave horn at the front. however. silver. known as “tower went to war. but it was later proved that the mask belonged to one of the earliest Mycenean kings. while others. showing leopards hunting in boars’ tusks laid side by side. the forest.” were tall and rectangular and rode in battle chariots. The masks were made by beating a sheet of gold over a carved wooden mold. Schliemann in the 1870s. protection.When a Mycenean city eight. warrior wore a complete suit of armor made from bronze. The most famous of these masks was discovered by the The golden death mask of archaeologist Heinrich an early Mycenean king. swords. Occasionally. and originally constructed from dozens of copper. Kings and nobles trained for stretched over a wooden frame. One remarkable has a solid gold hilt and a blade inlaid helmet has been found that was with a scene in gold. topped by a and daggers. a ordinary soldiers marched on foot.

They were usually made from wool. From A woman weaving woolen and discussed political ideas. Civilizations of Ancient Greece Classical Greece By around 800 BCE the ancient Greeks were living in city-states. insects. in story told the legend of Arachne.There the fifth century BCE onward. created fine art and great buildings. class. and Sparta. Making Clothes Most women in ancient Greece knew how to spin wool and weave it into cloth. in was turned into a spider by the goddess Athena because the south. upright loom and sometimes included 31 . but rich women often had slaves to do the work instead.The lowest made from imported silk or cotton. soldiers. a few cloth on a vertical loom. and merchants. Most women in ancient were also priests. and a Greek wife was expected to provide all the cloth for her family. Geometric shapes were very popular. and shellfish. were slaves. the wife of the hero Odysseus. and mythological creatures also Ancient Greek society had an elite of featured in borders. while Odysseus was away on his adventures! Once the wool was spun. comprising about a quarter of the population. One powerful ones were Athens. from flax to make linen cloth. One famous example of a virtuous Greek woman is Penelope. their household. Gradually. very rich people wore garments Greece wove the cloth for traders. who kept busy with her weaving for twenty years. it could be colored using natural dyes made from plants. who eastern-central Greece. a very skilled weaver. and by the fifth century BCE it had become the center of a thriving Greek patterned borders in their cloth. Athens gained in she dared to challenge Athena to a weaving contest. Greek clothes wealthy. although some women wove thread studied mathematics and medicine. but the two most that many myths and stories grew up about them. farmers. civilization. Arachne the Weaver There were around three hundred Spinning and weaving were so important in ancient Greece city-states in total. wealth and power. Some women did all of their household spinning and weaving themselves. well-educated people.Women wove their thread on a tall.

32 . would have been worn by a chiton. and bone. Fashion in Ancient Greece In the warm. Over the chiton. from a light scarf to a warm traveling cloak. It is made sleeveless tunic.The Doric chiton was a wealthy woman. It was made from a single from gold.This was a rectangular wrap. chiton had elbow-length sleeves. while the Ionic from solid gold. silver. which were fastened at intervals across the shoulders. farmers.Tunics and cloaks were held end thrown over one shoulder. waist to hold the chiton in place. dry climate of Greece. but precious stones were only used at This impressive necklace There were two main styles of the end of the Greek period. and ivory. second garment over a tunic. women wore a himation. bracelets. fastened at poorer people’s jewelry was made the shoulders and left open at one from bronze. Sometimes men Both men and women wore a simple wore a himation. and slaves often people did not need many clothes. while older men and nobles had ankle-length robes. Jewelers side.This in place by pins or brooches. but sometimes they wore simple leather Jewelry sandals. Usually people went barefoot. which they tunic. A girdle was also tied at the sometimes added enamel for color. The basic dress for women was the Wealthy Greeks wore jewelry made chiton.Young men wore their tunics short. Most Greek men wore a simple tunic sewn up at the side and fastened with a pin or brooch on one or both shoulders. and added a cloak for cooler wrapped around the body with one weather. and necklaces. The Greeks liked to wear delicate earrings. Craftsmen. while the piece of rectangular cloth. which could vary in size and weight. wore a loincloth. which could be worn on its own or as a could be plain or very elaborate. lead.

BCE onward. exercising and playing sports to make sure that they had robust. bound by several ribbons and scarves. from around 500 cheeks. Beauty Care Women in ancient Greece spent a lot of time and effort making themselves look beautiful. a wealthy woman massages oil into special creams. Many Greek Greek vase. From around 300 BCE men shaved off their beards and wore their hair cropped close to their heads. female Spartan women In the warlike city-state of Sparta.They would bathe frequently and rub perfumed oils into their skin to prevent it from drying out. The wife wears a chiton while Looking and smelling good her husband wears a flowing robe with the women wore makeup. men’s hair became much shorter. Statues of Spartan women and girls show that they were very strong and muscular. held in place by a simple on their headband. painted on a themselves look taller. while others used padding to improve their figure. healthy babies.Women also used oil on their hair to make it shine. 33 . with a loose skirt to allow plenty of movement. her hair. Usually they wore a knee-length dress. both men eyebrows. Spartan women were encouraged to spend most of their time outside. while women usually wore their hair up. while her servant Hairstyles darkened their holds the oil jar. and and women wore their hair long and used rouge loose. One statue even shows a Spartan girl wearing a thigh-length tunic with a high slit in one side. Here.They whitened was very important to the end draped over his shoulder. women looked and behaved very differently from their counterparts in the rest of Greece. In the early Greek period. Some women dyed their hair and wore wigs or false hairpieces. Civilizations of Ancient Greece hairstyles became extremely elaborate. Meanwhile. and their beards were neatly trimmed. or wore thick-soled sandals to make A couple exchanging gifts. and women often waved or curled their hair. However. their skin with Greeks.

a head—possibly the god of war. his son. Hoplites fought with a long spear and a sword and carried a large circular shield made from bronze. which they saw as represented by their dress. led by King Philip II. became the leader of the Greek army and led a force of Macedonians and Greeks on a campaign to win a vast empire in Asia and the Middle East. For eleven years they fought against the Persians. chroniclers relate that Alexander abandoned his traditional Macedonian and a lightweight cloak fastened at the neck. who were intensely proud of their kingdom’s military history. a metal breastplate with he took control of the great Persian Empire. known as hoplites. Alexander wears After Alexander the Great had defeated the king of Persia in 331 BCE. Alexander the Great. wood. In 338 BCE the Greeks were conquered by their northern neighbor. This infuriated Alexander’s Macedonian decoration in the form of generals. and leather. and the Macedonians—had their own distinctive battle dress. dress and adopted instead the dress of the Persians. Greek Hoplites The backbone of the Greek army was its company of heavily armed footsoldiers.When Philip died in 336.They wore a short tunic and their upper body was protected by a bronze and leather This detail from a Roman mosaic shows Alexander the Great dressed in the armor of a Macedonian A Question of Dress general. Each of the main fighting groups— the Greeks (led by the city of Athens). During this period the wide shoulder straps. the kingdom of Macedonia. wearing a loose His breastplate has a tunic and pants (see page 25). the Spartans. 34 . with a bold design painted on it. and there was also a long war between the rival city-states of Athens and Sparta. Greeks at War The ancient Greeks were often at war.

performed by naked athletes.The overall effect could be very fearsome when they advanced en masse in battle. wearing a all wear splendid. with long. The Hoplites wrestling. scarlet cloaks and helmets which covered almost all of the face. Alexander is a vase from the sixth such as jumping. Civilizations of Ancient Greece breastplate. but one statue shows century BCE. boxing. Spartan warriors dressed in a distinctive way. so that it streamed out from under their helmets. he wore the traditional armor and they wore sturdy leather sandals of his native kingdom of Macedonia: on their feet. Spartan Warriors All the men of Sparta were full-time soldiers. in which men royal status. Alexander rode an enormous charger and fought with a long sword. and bareheaded. At the age of seven. covered the soldiers’ calves. known known. In most of the surviving Greek hoplites depicted on competed against each other in sports statues and mosaics.The hoplites had a short-sleeved battle tunic with a magnificent bronze helmets with a metal breastplate and a skirt and horsehair crest and flaps to protect sleeves made from metal strips. battle. its own distinctive design. the sides of the face. Alexander’s Armor Alexander the Great was one of the finest generals the world has ever 35 . On Running in Armor his feet he had calf-length boots and The ancient Greeks loved to hold he wore a purple cloak to show his athletic competitions.When he led the Greeks into as greaves. Most Olympic sports were his chin. Bronze leg guards. crested headdresses and carry competition of all was the Olympic lion’s head with its paws tied under circular shields—each with Games. The origins of this race probably lay in the strict training of the Greek hoplites. The Spartan soldiers also let their hair grow long. Each of the runners wore a bronze helmet and greaves and carried a heavy shield. but in one running race the competitors had to wear heavy armor.The most famous him as a fierce conqueror. boys were taken from their mothers to begin their military training.

and Rome became a republic ruled by two elected consuls. The Romans used hand- mirrors made from highly-polished In this mosaic from the At first the city of Rome was fourth century BCE the Roman poet Virgil is ruled by kings. but in 509 BCE flanked by two muses (goddesses of inspiration). Chapter 5: The Roman Empire Ancient Romans T he Roman Empire began as a small community of farmers living on the banks of the Tiber River in Italy. the last king was driven out palla Virgil wears a toga looped over one shoulder. and the stola empire lasted for the next four hundred years. Augustus was the first Roman emperor. Gradually. who were advised by a senate. In 45 BCE a general named Julius Caesar seized power. the farming villages grew into a town and then into a city. but he was soon assassinated. 36 . A Roman woman dressed in stola (dress) and palla (shawl). and a period of conflict followed until Augustus took control in 27 BCE.

Wherever the Romans brooch at the neck. rectangular shawl. The Roman Empire Augustus and his successors loincloth made from a strip of wool conquered vast areas of land. made of cotton from India and silk sleeveless dress called a stola. and then it had rings made from gold and silver and set with was cleaned by rubbing it with a precious stones such as emeralds. beaten. loincloth and sometimes a simple Tunics were usually made of leather bra. conquered. but those Making Clothes worn by senators had a broad purple Most Roman clothes were made border. which came from Women's Clothing Egypt. the toga was very heavy adopted Roman ways. Often a ring held a gemstone engraved with a pattern Fullers also cleaned and mended that could be used as a seal. Over from China. workshop. they established the Roman way of life. Sometimes the Romans had clothes made from linen. the cloth was Less wealthy people wore rings made from bronze. many of the conquered peoples However.This was a very long strip theaters. known as a palla. Rich people by soaking it in urine. Until they were sixteen. worn for special occasions.They also had a simple an empire that stretched from Britain cloak. In towns and cities. creating or linen. the cloth was stiffened Roman men and women wore a lot of rings. which could be Togas and Tunics worn draped around the shoulders or The basic garment for men was a looped over the head like a hood. After this. Under their tunics men wore a often wore brightly colored dresses. and body and draped over one shoulder. Romans took their woolen cloth to the fuller’s workshop to be cleaned and treated before it was made into Roman Rings clothes. this was a large. First.The wealthiest wore clothes Roman women wore a long. clothes for the richer people. belted. simple.Togas were usually plain white. pearls. but after this they knees. so it was only like the Romans. belted tunic made from two Under the stola women wore a rectangles of wool stitched together. which was spun and from wealthy families wore a white woven by hand at home or in a toga with a narrow purple border. kind of clay. 37 . boys from wool. baths. wrapped around the Rome to rule over the provinces. Governors were sent from of woolen cloth. and bleached. even dressing and awkward to wear. building fine Important men wore a toga over cities with temples. and their tunic. or amber. Girls wore white until unbleached wool and reached to the they were married. stretched. which could be wrapped in the north to North Africa in the around them or fastened with a south.

fashionable in Roman times for women to look pale. Black hair came from Asia. 38 .They Many Romans suffered from tooth decay. from going gray by applying a paste cap. wealthy women wore wigs. and slaves devoted and legs as well. Some This young woman wears Hair Care Romans used a brown hair dye made simple gold earrings in her ears. while her carefully Most Roman men kept their hair from walnut shells and wild onions. held in place with dozens of pins. It was very did not use soap or oil. but by the time of the empire some very elaborate styles had developed. shaven. Others bought wigs made from imported hair. Some women cut off their slaves’ hair and had it made into wigs or hairpieces. most women wore their hair tied in simple buns at the back of their heads. so women whitened their faces and arms with powdered chalk or a poisonous False Teeth mixture made from lead.Wealthy women’s hair was curled and braided and piled into elaborate styles. curled hair is held in place short. either combed forward or Others tried to prevent their hair by a delicate lattice-work curled. False teeth were shadow made from ash or saffron. During the period of the republic. or even the sediment of red wine. using red ocher. made from ivory or bone and were attached to a gold Color was added to lips and cheeks band that would not rust. plant dye. and some on cosmetics to make themselves had the hair removed from their arms look beautiful. while blond and red hair was imported from northern Europe. and brides wore several hairpieces for their weddings. and sometimes darkened their eyebrows and dentists took drastic action. Most Makeup men began the day by visiting the Most wealthy Roman women relied barber’s shop for a shave. They extracted rotten teeth eyelashes with soot and wore eye and supplied false ones to fill the gaps.This could be a hours each morning to making up painful experience because barbers their mistresses. although the emperor of earthworms and herbs! Hadrian (reigned 117–138 CE) started a fashion for beards. For special celebrations.They were usually clean.

a visit to the tepidarium. cosmetics and scent in delicate glass pots and bottles. In the caldarium. so most people visited the strigil. a lukewarm pool where baths was much more than a chance they could cool down. where they could a variety of creams. However. from Roman times. Roman baths offered the experience ended with a refreshing from the city of Bath. the lower section dates routine. wrestling. like a modern-day popular.This could be followed by even used a cream made from a period in the sudatorium—a hot. crushed snails. in southern England. the Romans smeared their bodies with Roman Baths perfumed oil and then scraped off the Very few Roman houses had dirt with a curved stick called a bathrooms.The whole A surviving Roman bath clubs. or hot bath. After this they visited the public baths. (Only chance for a total exercise and beauty dip in the frigidarium—the unheated. Many Romans began their outdoor swimming pool. and women kept their sauna. Perfumes were very steamy room. Roman visit to the baths with a session in the women liked to treat their skin with exercise yards. Like modern health perhaps enjoy a massage. and then to get clean.They applied practice weightlifting. or facials of bread soaked in milk and ball games. The Roman Empire As well as applying makeup.) 39 .

with rows a group of actors who all spoke at of seats built in a high circle around a once. most plays featured a chorus— in huge. and many companies of actors performed plays actors added extra padding under to entertain the people. All them a more female shape. Roman Actors easily visible. so tragic similar costumes and masks. while the one on the right represents a pale-skinned maiden.These plays their costumes to give themselves were usually solemn tragedies about more bulk. which were short for men and long Roman drama had its origins in the for those playing women. Members of the chorus also central stage. the parts were taken by men. masks and large wigs. understand their roles in the play.The actors playing heroes and gods. or knockabout women used special padding to give comedies about ordinary people. The mask on the left would be worn by a comic character. outdoor theaters. Two Roman actors’ masks from a mosaic. characters wore dark robes.The colors plays of the ancient Greeks. 40 . and the actors wore distinctive costumes and Costumes were fairly simple and masks to help the audience usually consisted of a tunic and cloak. As well as the individual Roman plays were usually performed actors. while happy characters had brightly colored Costumes costumes. and of an actor’s clothes helped to identify Greek and Roman actors wore very his role in the drama.They wore exaggerated Throughout the Roman Empire. the actors had to be dressed as animals or birds. Because of the vast size wore costumes and sometimes even of these theaters.

” make them seem taller.” and “the scheming slave.” the “fool. had thick soles and a high heel.There were special masks for recognizable Actors’ Shoes character types such as the “wise old Ancient Greek and Roman actors man. 41 . character's mood had changed.They audience recognize what kind of had holes for the eyes and a very character they were playing. but very hot.The masks large hole for the mouth. swapping perhaps from a smiling to an The shoes had no left or right and angry mask to indicate that his looked the same from both sides. and that he could be heard by everyone whether they were humans or gods. shoes were made from wood and an actor might wear several masks. These During the course of a performance. the from stiffened. painted linen. The Roman Empire Masks Actors’ masks were usually made In addition to their costumes. in the theater. Female masks were much paler than male ones and had bigger eyes.” the “innocent sometimes wore special shoes to maiden. which had exaggerated features which helped to amplify the actor’s voice so showed the character’s sex and age. and they actors wore masks to help the were lightweight.

An iron helmet protected their head and Useful Shields While the shields of the Roman cavalry were flat and oval. because in times of war. The shields were made in this distinctive shape so that the legionaries could form a cunning formation. most men fought as legionaries. This well-protected shape was known as the testudo. Wood and leather shield Tunic The Roman army was divided into legions—groups of around six thousand men. Soldiers were well-paid professionals Scabbard for sword who wore regulation armor and Javelin weapons. Rome did not have a professional army. and javelins and carried a large wood and leather shield.Within the legions. with nails swords. all male citizens were expected to fight. or tortoise. or foot soldiers.They fought with daggers. By the time of the empire. A Roman legionary The Roman Army Iron helmet In the early republic. the legionaries’ shields were rectangular in shape and bowed outward. while a smaller group of mounted soldiers formed the cavalry. however. the Roman army had become an extremely efficient fighting force. Groups of soldiers advancing toward the enemy locked their shields together to form a solid barrier that covered the soldiers’ heads and also protected the front and sides of the group. Roman legionaries wore short tunics and leather sandals studded with Leather sandal studded nails. 42 . and it allowed the legionaries to approach very close to the enemy before launching their attack.The men had to provide their own weapons and equipment and then return home Metal breastplate when the fighting was over. Marching at the head of the legion was the aquilifer or standard-bearer.

who was in charge of the whole legion and wore a golden helmet topped with eagle’s wings.They wore simple As well as their basic armor. carry a shield. short swords. who commanded a group of around eighty men. He blew battle signals. The figure on the left in both scenes were held in massive stone stadiums. Gladiators were slaves. or horn player. Gladiators The Roman emperors paid for dramatic and bloodthirsty shows to entertain the people of the city.The centurion wore similar armor to the legionary. such as the Colosseum in Rome. circular trumpet. and he wore a plumed helmet on his head. and carried a tall staff topped by a called a retiarius. fought with a net golden emblem of an eagle. using a large. Another dramatic figure on the battlefield was the cornicene. they loincloths and went bare-chested. Standard-bearers led their legion into Most gladiators fought with very battle. but his shins were protected by metal plates called greaves. and wore a striking costume made from a bear’s head and skin.The least important was the centurion. who fights with a net. and each group had its own commander. and wore no armor at all. This mosaic shows two scenes of gladiators Known as “the games.The most important commander was the legate. criminals. The Roman Empire they also wore a breastplate made who were forced to fight each other from metal strips.” these shows fighting. to the death. Each Roman legion was divided into many smaller groups. 43 . wore a dramatic headdress made from although they did wear a helmet and the head and front paws of a lion. is a retiarius. or prisoners of war. so they had to be easy to spot. One type of gladiator. One of the most popular games was the gladiator fight.

and boots cross-laced around their calves. the most striking aspect of the warriors’ appearance was their hair. the Celts fought hard to defend their lands. who resisted them. while tribes of Roman Empire collapsed in western Germanic people from northeastern Europe.The Roman army Eventually.They wore rough coats made from furs. however. the Roman Empire by Germanic Frankish warriors carried circular known as a francisca. However.This was worn in a pigtail at the front. tribes were growing more serious. Celtic People The people known as the Celts were made up of many different tribes. while in Cornwall and Brittany some Celtic traditions remained. short tunics and leggings. Rome was threatened by many warlike tribes. and in 476 the Celtic people. 44 . A Frankish warrior. but in the end most of them were conquered. armed with his throwing axe. Celtic culture survived in Ireland and remote parts of Scotland and Wales. but one of the most Barbarian Warriors terrifying were the Franks. but they all shared the same language and way of life. there were some tribes keep them out of their lands. who By the third century CE attacks on originally came from Germany.The Celtic culture began in Austria around 800 BCE. Barbarians and Celts Although the Romans were very The Romans called these tribes successful at conquering the peoples “barbarians” and fought fiercely to of Europe. As the Roman Empire grew. and shaved at the back with an extra topknot of hair sprouting from the top of the head. and the Celts gradually spread across most of Europe. However. Rome was fought constant battles with the invaded by barbarians. Europe launched frequent attacks on the empire’s borders. wooden shields and fought with spears and lethal throwing axes called franciscas. settling as far north as Scotland and as far south as Turkey.

and blew on tall war trumpets decorated with animal heads. fought with spears.To make themselves appear more intimidating to their enemies. while women wore long dresses with belts. woven from wool and They also created beautiful cups. 45 . and very thousand years ago. the traditional plaid patterns later used A Celtic bronze shield dating from around in Scottish kilts. The Roman Empire Celtic Dress Celtic men wore short. known as torcs. Celtic warriors usually wore thick woolen clothes with bold patterns of checks and plaids. are decorated simple plaids. made from twisted bands of gold. these objects. shields. using a blue dye called woad. silver. These with intricate swirling patterns. In battle. Some of patterns of stripes. Checks and Celtic Metalwork Plaids The Celts were skilled metalworkers Celtic clothes were who made strong weapons and tools. belted tunics and baggy pants tied at the ankle with strips of leather. some Celtic warriors stripped to the waist and painted their bodies with swirling patterns. Celtic warriors wore bronze helmets.They also combed lime through their hair to make it stand up in spikes. and gold. which were sometimes crowned with horns or animal ornaments. 350 BCE.They carried bronze shields. and simple designs were the same sort of patterns appeared probably the origin of much later in Celtic medieval art. and items of jewelry from and often featured bronze. Both men and women often wore chunky neckbands. dyed bright colors. dating from around two checks.

who arrived in India around 1500 BCE.The Aryan people. People of the Indus who wore a simple tunic and turban. which consists of: a waistcloth. and dance. while Buddhism also began in India around 500 BCE. the towns and cities.The Buddha attracted many followers Clothes for Castes who wished to live like him. Children always belonged to the same caste as their parents. and he The Aryan people. wrapped around the body like a 46 .The Gupta Empire of the fourth to the sixth centuries CE is famous for its painting. in behind their head. clay. was larger than any other empire of the time. Beads for Around 528 BCE Prince Siddhartha necklaces were made from gold. The main castes were: the workers. a wandering pottery beads were modeled in the holy man who dressed very simply form of tiny animals. who around 3500 BCE. towns and cities in the Indus valley. Valley the merchants. Meanwhile. introduced the religion of Hinduism. metalworkers and bead makers made headbands. and each Buddhist monks have a “triple robe. Chapter 6: Peoples of the South and East Ancient India I ndia has a rich early history. music.These robes have been worn caste system in which people were by Buddhist monks from the sixth divided into different classes century BCE right up to the according to the jobs they did. introduced a robes.Within a thousand wore magnificently patterned robes years there were over a hundred and turbans and masses of jewelry. which flourished between 2600 and 2000 BCE. who dressed in more The first civilization in India grew up colorful robes and wore golden around the valley of the Indus River jewelry. and the priests and scholars. Gautama gave up his worldly riches and semiprecious stones. present day. Some and became the Buddha. and had almost no possessions. Buddhist Monks armlets. who The farmers there were the first usually dressed very simply in a people to grow cotton and weave it loincloth. who arrived in gave precise instructions about their India around 1500 BCE.” caste wore different kinds of clothes. and necklaces.The Indus valley civilization. the warriors and kings. with their hair knotted into cloth for clothes.

and substances produce a range of colors legs are strings of pearls. murals painted at Ajanta during the 47 . and from deep red to yellow. and trade. and these natural Around their necks. flowing robes of the finest muslin. the tilaka began in Gupta Empire wore simple clothes Aryan times when the bridegroom made from cotton. princes. bark. jeweled common color for Buddhist robes is headdresses rising in points. and encouraged art. sign that a person belongs to the Hindu religion. The Tilaka science. leaves. kings. and large quantities of silk. It is usually made cotton. The Gupta Empire The Gupta emperors ruled from 320 to 550 CE.The dancers wear and tubers. arms. A set of famous Buddhist recognition of their marriage. exquisite dancing maidens. waists. Some have golden. while a yellowish-orange. Guptas’ rule portray a group of which is only worn in cold weather. and muslin (a very fine from a mixture of red ocher powder cotton) were produced to be traded and sandalwood paste and is a visible abroad. laden Monks’ robes can be dyed from roots with jewels. Peoples of the South and East Buddhist monks today still wear the same traditional saffron robes that they wore in the sixth century BCE. their foreheads. According to ancient While the ordinary people in the Hindu tradition. a robe.Textiles were a Ever since the Aryan period. sarong. others are bareheaded with jewels and flowers woven into their hair. flowers. beads. linen. and used his thumb to apply his blood princesses had splendid clothes and to his bride’s forehead as a jewelry. and an outer robe. or saffron.The most jewels. plants. and fruits. Hindu women major source of wealth for the have worn a mark called the tilaka on empire.

the Chinese could weave a range of different silk cloths. Once the thread was collected. The colors used depended on rank. Fancy Fingernails Around 3000 BCE wealthy people in China began to paint their fingernails. but by the time of the emperors the royal colors were red and black. from light gauzes to heavy brocades. China’s early rulers wore gold and silver nail polish. wealthy people in China wore exquisite robes woven from this material. Well-manicured nails were a symbol These nail protectors of a high social position. the threads would loosen. After a thousand years. They emphasized the difference between were worn by a Chinese empress over her six-inch- the nobility and the workers. By creating threads of different thicknesses. making it possible to unwind the silk thread onto a stick. From that time on. Making Silk Silk thread is produced by silkworms that spin their thread into tightly bound cocoons. long fingernails. who had to labor with their hands. Chinese nobles wore colorful silk robes covered with embroidery. several strands were twisted together to make threads thick enough for weaving. and around 2700 BCE they discovered how to make silk. 48 .The ancient Chinese discovered that if they soaked these cocoons in hot water. Ancient China A round 5000 BCE people began farming along the banks of the Yellow River. farmers began to grow rice.

Peoples of the South and East

Silk was woven on looms to make from rushes or straw. In the warm,
fine cloth, but was also used for wet south, peasants working in the
embroidery thread.The Chinese soon fields wore wide-brimmed, cone-
learned to embroider exquisite shaped hats to protect them from the
patterns onto silk cloth, often using a sun and rain.
contrasting color. Some silk was
made into beautiful clothes, and some Chinese Warriors
was taken by merchants who traveled The enormous tomb of the first
to the West, where silk sold for emperor of China contains more
enormous prices. Soon, Chinese silk than seven thousand life-sized model
was so famous that the trading route warriors, placed there to guard his
that ran across Asia to Europe body. Made from terracotta and
became known as the Silk Road. originally brightly painted, the
warriors wear knee-length tunics.
Emperors and Nobles Some warriors have their hair tied in
In 221 BCE Qin Shi Huangdi a topknot and wear a simple
established China's first empire. He headband, but the officers
established a pattern of living very sport elaborate bonnets
One of the thousands of
grandly, and the emperors that with two wings at the terracotta warriors
followed him built magnificent top that tie under the guarding the first
palaces where they lived with their chin. Some of the emperor’s tomb. This
figure originally held a real
courtiers. Emperors and nobles wore warriors carried real weapon.
wide-sleeved, flowing silk robes, crossbows, which were
which crossed over at the front and set to fire if anyone
were fastened by a high belt.The dared to enter the
robes included long, trailing sashes tomb.
and were covered with embroidered
designs. Emperors and nobles often
wore their beards and moustaches
long. Emperors had elaborate caps
decorated with tassels, while nobles
usually wore their hair tied in a
topknot and covered with a small,
silken cap.

Working Dress
The Chinese had strict rules about
dress. No merchants were allowed to
wear silk, and farmers and
craftworkers dressed very simply.
Some wore cotton loincloths, while
others had loose tunics and pants.
On their feet they wore sandals made

Ancient Japan
The earliest people in Japan lived as silk-making were brought over from
hunter-gatherers, hunting, fishing, and China. People in ancient Japan
collecting nuts and berries.Then, probably dressed in the same way as
around 500 BCE, settlers arrived the ancient Chinese, with farmers
from China and Korea.They brought wearing simple tunics and pants,
new skills, such as metalworking and while richer people wore fine robes
farming, and people began to live in made from silk.
tribes, ruled by chieftains. One tribe,
called the Yamato, became more The best evidence for ancient
powerful than all the others, and Japanese costumes comes from the
around 500 CE they took control, burial mounds of the Yamato
becoming the first emperors of a emperors. Here, archaeologists have
united Japan. found bronze mirrors, bells, swords,
and spears.They have also discovered
Yamato Emperors and clay models of warriors, placed
Warriors around the burial mound to protect
The Yamato emperors ruled until the emperor’s body.These miniature
around 700 CE. During their rule, figures are dressed completely in
many new ideas, such as writing and armor that seems to be made from
metal strips.The armor consists of: a
helmet with long side flaps meeting
under the chin; a long, waisted jacket
tied at the front with laces; and wide
pants.The warriors wear gauntlets
and have swords in scabbards on
their belts.

Swords, Jewels, and
An ancient Japanese creation myth
provides some insight into the
things that were considered
A miniature terracotta important in early Japanese
soldier from a Yamato society. According to this myth, the
emperor’s tomb.
sun goddess Amaterasu sent her
grandson Ninigi to rule over Japan,
giving him a sword, a jewel, and a
mirror. These three gifts became
symbols of the emperor's
authority. They are said to be still
owned by Japan's ruling family.


Australia and the Pacific
During the last Ice Age, adventurous Australian
groups of people from Southeast Asia Aboriginals Dreamtime
began to journey in boats.They The aboriginal people of Australia Patterns
rowed south across the Pacific Ocean, first arrived on the continent around All the patterns used
which was much smaller than it is 40,000 years ago, and gradually in aboriginal body
today because large amounts of land spread out all over Australia. In the painting have
were covered in ice. Some people cooler regions, the aboriginals wore traditional meanings.
settled on islands in the South animal skins to keep warm, but in They show figures
Pacific, and some reached as far as many parts of Australia there was no and events from the
Australia.Very much later, around 750 need for clothes. Dreamtime, a period
BCE, a group called the Maoris when their world was
arrived in New Zealand. The early aboriginals painted their created by the Spirit
bodies with patterns using pigments Ancestors, according
Pacific Islanders made from ochers, white clay, and to aboriginal belief.
The people who settled on the charcoal. Both men and women wore
Pacific islands wore skirts made from a range of ornaments made from
dried grasses and necklaces made natural materials such as bark, teeth,
from shells, feathers, and teeth.They and feathers, or carved from wood.
may have decorated their faces and Aboriginal hunters used boomerangs, Today, some Australian
bodies with body paint or tattoos, clubs, and spears, and defended aboriginals still paint their
like the Maoris.They may also have themselves with wooden shields, bodies with the same
designs that their
worn small carvings as good-luck which were decorated with carvings ancestors used thousands
charms. or paintings. of years ago.


over thousands of years.Then. Arctic People By around 12. stayed unchanged for arrived in the Great Plains area From the first century CE these thousands of years. Arctic must have used animal skins to Evidence of these people.The early plains so they could hold water. including make hooded coats. used and hunters disguised themselves by their weaving skills to build wearing the skin of a wolf or a conical homes in the sand. people spread out all over the continent. It must have It is thought that the first people weave baskets from plant fibers. Asia and America were linked by a bridge of land and ice. fish. the people of the Adena flourished in southern Ohio. mittens. small burial mounds. the Early Basketmakers. Hunters from northern Asia followed herds of buffalo until they arrived in the northwestern tip of America. Early Basketmakers In the hot. and buffalo. the Native Americans established a different way of life. and birds. very gradually. them dressed as buffalo. people learned to made entirely from animal skins and fur. pants. usually known as the plains hunted buffalo for food. Like the later people of the also made baskets to be carried plains. sandy deserts of the Traditional Inuit dress is Hunters of the Plains southwest. Some baskets have used buffalo hides to make were lined with gum from plants tepees and clothes. when some of settled in the frozen Arctic regions. Chapter 7: People of the Americas North America D uring the last Ice Age.They were ornaments from walrus tusks. A succeeded around 300 BCE by the miniature ivory mask survives from around 500 BCE. around 10. dwellers probably also held 52 .000 BCE. In each area where they settled.The people of desert people. These early ancestors of the Inuit people lived by hunting seals and Mound Builders walruses. Like their Around 500 BCE a people called the Inuit descendants. has been found and boots.They also carved in the Scioto River valley. the early buffalo hunters must on their backs.000 BCE people had ceremonial dances. which may have belonged to a chief or a priest.

burial mounds. such as hands and claws. woodlands.These people were wooden masks.They traders who exchanged goods with painted patterns on their skin and tribes as far away as the Rocky wore feathered headdresses on their The Hopewell people made Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico.They also cut out tribe members wore carved wooden earrings were fashioned shapes. but they may have been worn as the Hopewell people built larger pendants. or sewn onto clothes. heads. No one knows the building civilization. painted in the nineteenth century. from masks. until they had become substantial. smoked tobacco from a carved pipe This necklace was made and quartz. until the sixth century CE. and brought back copper. though they may not have ridden horses. necklaces later tribes of the northeastern made from shells and alligator teeth. and carved wooden hunters and gatherers who wore pipes. cloaks. People of the Americas These Native American buffalo hunters. who flourished function of these small. 53 . mica sheets. Their ancient ancestors probably dressed in a similar way. loincloths. while the pendants and as flying birds. The Adena and Hopewell people Inside these chambers. Over time. from beaten copper. wear clothes made from leather and feathers. flat ornaments. and moccasins made from leather and decorated The Hopewell people were great with dried seeds and feathers. circular burial chambers. Hopewell craftworkers which was passed between them. Hopewell. mica. another great mound. silver. In their ceremonies they fine jewelry using a wide range of natural materials. and from pearl beads gathered made copper sheets into designs such they also held dances in which some from freshwater shellfish. archaeologists probably lived in a similar way to the have found copper bracelets.

Chavin goldsmiths made intricate figurines and pendants covered with expressive carving.The Chavin people settled in the long coastal strip which is present-day Peru and influenced the culture of the whole area. were skilled stoneworkers who built burial cloak and headdress were made from dyed and beans. first.These ornaments show a range of animal spirits. and the Moche in the north. and potatoes. This Paracas Peruvian farmers grew maize. squash. 54 . and guinea pigs for cat. but by about 2000 BCE Chavin people created the first buried them in fine woolen they had learned to grow crops. which was used worn by a ruler or a priest.The civilization in South America. At to weave blankets and cloaks. South America A Chavin figurine of a wild People of Peru llamas. but they were the first people in the Americas to work gold. This solid gold ornament may have been People began to settle on the rocky their meat and wool. eagles. but other groups grew up. including the Paracas cultures in the south. Chavin culture disappeared around 200 BCE. alligators. for spinning and weaving. alpacas. including jaguars. and also cotton huge temples filled with carvings of embroidered wool. they survived by catching shellfish and crabs and gathering nuts Between 1800 and 900 BCE the The Paracas people mummified their rulers and and berries. Chavin Gold Little evidence remains of Chavin clothing.They kept their fierce animal gods.000 BCE.They garments. coast of Peru around 12.

Whenever the weavers wanted to tighten their threads. woven bags. of an animal’s face. All of these splendid ornaments were probably worn by Chavin rulers and priests. and snakes. At the other end the strings were tied to a strap that went around the weaver’s back. and One surviving Paracas textile has a wears a simple headdress of two recurrent design of flying figures. and jade green. crabs. displaying a mixture of human bands. scarlet. such as alpacas. horizontal bands topped by a design apparently wearing ceremonial dress. are famous for their weaving and embroidery. Paracas Cloth The Paracas people. necks are square. birds of prey. The warp strings of the loom were attached at one end to a high post. wide gold collars and pectorals have also been found in Chavin temples. decorated A Paracas llama-wool creatures into a complex intertwined kilts with elaborately patterned belts. Sometimes weavers combined the forms of several The figures wear short. In addition to the figurines. These portable looms could be set up anywhere and are still used today in Peru. Each warrior priests.Weavers used fine alpaca wool to make spectacular cloaks and burial cloths in a range of vivid colors. they simply leaned back against the strap. People of the Americas Backstrap Looms Portraits of weavers on ancient Moche pots reveal that the people of the Andes used a simple backstrap loom to weave their patterned cloth. Designs include a range of animal motifs. while some is decorated with embroidered designs. Some surviving Paracas cloth has geometric figures and motifs woven into it.The cloth is brightly colored with dyes. Semi-human deities are also Around their ankles are feathered leg The figures on this shown. including turquoise. textile used to wrap the body of a mummified ruler. and hanging around their embroidery may represent and animal features. 55 . who flourished in the southern Andes from around 600 BCE to 400 CE. design. jaguars. and shellfish. figure carries a baton and a fan.

pectorals. Moche Jewelry Metalworkers smelted gold. he conducted solemn ceremonies and personified the god of the sun. shell. silver. and vases. textiles.They also supervised the work of skilled craftspeople who worked in clay. Moche jewelry was often covered with fine engravings and sometimes inlaid with turquoise. and ordinary people in cotton tunics and caps.The Moche lords top of his pyramid. Portraits in Clay Moche lords commissioned skilled potters to make bowls. 56 . hair with coca leaves. painted with designs in red. glittering in all his finery. Moche lords were festooned with farming or fishing villages clustered golden jewelry and also wore a cotton cloak covered around tall pyramids where the lords with gilded plates. One surviving This “stirrup vase” made by the Moche people shows a laughing man pot even shows a man washing his wearing a simple cotton cap. Moche Lords Sacred Gold Between 200 and 800 CE. led their warriors into battle. and copper in small furnaces and used stone hammers to flatten the metal into thin sheets. earrings. Moche pottery reveals a fantastic range of costumes: lords adorned with face paint and wearing feathered headdresses. pots. Many of the pots feature painted figures and scenes. From these they fashioned gleaming headdresses. warriors in patterned battle tunics and headdresses. white. and gold was especially prized because it was kingdom in northern Peru. face masks. and lapis lazuli. nose rings. Most of associated with the sun god’s life-giving power. and pendants. For their the Moche people lived in small special ceremonies. and earth colors. while some “stirrup vases” take the form of human figures. and metals. When a Moche lord appeared on the had their palaces. the All the ancient people of the Andes worshiped the sun Moche lords ruled over a coastal god.

and at the A colossal stone head America. and their players wore large ornaments on semi-human figures with snarling wore a similar costume. which are probably BCE in the humid. the wears a distinctive helmet-like Olmec people built a series of headdress with straps around the ears. Mexico. and many aspects of their end of the game one team was put to from San Lorenzo. jaguar faces.These carvings featured waistband. death. which were possibly worn loincloth with a wide. 57 . 58 and 59). serpents. culture were adopted by later groups.Central America Olmecs The first major Central American Olmec sculptors also carved a set of civilization emerged around 1500 giant stone heads.They also wore a large and figurines from jade. Carvings show that the Olmec ball- game players wore a protective Olmec Carvings helmet. and hips. and jaguars. hands. the Maya also played Players had special loincloths and helmets and eagles. Venta. Here. ceremonial sites on low hills. and chest ornament and a high-cut The Olmecs and the Maya serpentine. similar to the headdress of Olmec craftspeople created masks their rulers. the Olmecs played a sacred ball game on a stone The Olmecs were the first of a series court. Players hit a rubber ball with of peoples that flourished in Central their arms. Carved heads like these including the Maya people (see pages were probably intended as portraits of rulers.The two Some have a decorated badge at the major sites were San Lorenzo and La center of the forehead. padded played a sacred ball game. Each of them around the Gulf of Mexico. As part of their religion. swampy lands portraits of leaders. their chests. obsidian. and also a sacred ball game. Later. as pendants. Each contained a complex of temple platforms and pyramid mounds Sacred Ball Game and a court for a sacred ball game.

and built up the probably an ordinary the rainforests of Central America. bridge of their nose with clay to farmer. decorated armbands. and pendulous earrings. while the dark figure in the temples and palaces and was ruled by right up to the middle of the feathered headdress (top a powerful king.The Maya also produced painted pots and manuscripts. This painting shows a Maya range of Maya costumes.The palaces and forehead. pyramids of the Maya cities were over the forehead and cut in uneven. which Kings and Queens offer a wealth of evidence about the Maya kings and queens wore way they looked and dressed. The two central Each Maya city was filled with make a long ridge that extended figures may be courtiers. amazing costumes.They also wore foreheads that sloped backwards. On shape. Around 300 BCE the Maya people nobles also filed their teeth into The figure on the left carrying a bundle is started building stone cities deep in different shapes.The Maya queens’ 58 . covered with sculptures of their gods squared-off locks.This shape was achieved by their heads they had a towering binding the skulls of babies while headdress that frequently featured an their bones were still soft. and rulers. Maya animal’s head. Hair was sometimes worn left) is a warrior. tasseled leg giving their faces an oval. egg-like bands.The kings wore patterned tunics with elaborate belts Maya Beauty and large pectorals featuring images The Maya people had flattened of their gods.

The most important of all the gods was the sun god. They also wore priests. very beautiful. People of the Americas clothes were equally dramatic. and their headdresses were shaped like a jaguar’s head. and half Quetzal bird.Their tunics. Maya warriors dressed to scare their enemies. Like other Central American Ordinary people wore a basic. the Maya used the long. and the feathers of the Quetzal bird were considered sacred. rather than kill them. heavy Quetzal Feathers golden neck collars. chunky beads. peoples. and spears were all decorated with jaguar skin. and a simple cap the Quetzal bird in the headdresses of their rulers and on their heads. intricate Most of the ancient peoples of Central America worshiped earrings. and when the Maya kings were buried.Warriors defended themselves with shields and fought with long spears. green tail feathers of cotton loincloth. which they associated with Maya people considered everlasting life. 59 . armbands. blowing long trumpets. This portrait shows of jade. shields. Quetzalcoatl was half snake crowns.These A Maya warrior painted on royal burial masks were usually made a vase. spiky headdresses and went into battle shouting. They wore long cloaks and dresses. and earrings. As part of these ceremonies. but they aimed to take their prisoners alive. The fiercest warriors of all were the jaguar knights.They wore huge. headdresses. Maya Warriors In battle. Imitating the Gods The Maya worshiped dozens of gods and held many ceremonies to please them. the Mayan’s most precious very clearly the backward- sloping forehead which the material. and pulling frightening faces. they wore a mask showing the sun god’s face. and tall and elaborate the serpent god Quetzalcoatl. priests and kings wore costumes and headdresses representing their gods.

600 The Paracas people of the Andes create elaborate woven costumes. Bronze is discovered. c. 114. 3100 The Egyptian civilization begins. 9000–6000 Farmers in Iraq learn to spin wool and weave it into simple tunics. 10. 60 . wear jewelry made from shells and teeth. 500 The ancient Greek civilization begins to flourish. 2600 The people of the Indus valley grow cotton and use it to make clothes. c. c. Prehistoric people make simple clothes from animal skins. 520 The Persians start to build their empire. and used for making axes. Greek soldiers wear strong protective armor. c. c. c. Persian warriors wear pants for riding. wigs. c. Chavin goldsmiths make golden ornaments and collars. spears. 8000 Linen is first woven in Europe. Timeline BCE c. c. 29. and helmets from copper. daggers. 5000 Cotton is spun and woven into cloth in Central America. and use body paint for ceremonies. c. 300 The Mayans start building stone cities. 3000 The ancient Sumerians learn to make necklaces. The ancient Chinese weave elaborate silk robes. hemp is first used for making cloth in China.000–c. Many Egyptians wear elaborate jewelry. c. Roman styles of dress spread across the Middle East and Europe. 24. They also export silk to Europe along the Silk Road. c. 1500 The Chavin people are the first civilization in the Americas to discover gold. 2700 Silk-making begins in China. They also discover how to blow glass and make glass beads and ornaments. c. c. and strong helmets. and gold. 27 The Roman Empire begins. c.000 The earliest evidence of woven cloth (probably from grasses) dates from this time. 3500 Cotton manufacture develops in India. c. Maya rulers and warriors wear elaborate headdresses. silver. 1200 The Phoenicians make a purple dye which is sold around the Mediterranean.000 Jewelry is made from pottery and semiprecious stones. The ancient Egyptians learn to weave linen clothes from flax.000 People begin to wear clothes. c.000 Twine nets are first woven. c. 30. and makeup.

enamel A shiny. quartz A gemstone that can be purple. jade A semiprecious stone that can range in boomerang A curved stick that is thrown color from green to white. pigment A natural substance. mural A wall painting. A plaid A design of straight lines crossing at flounced skirt is usually made up of several right angles to give a checkered appearance. brown. woman’s dress. 61 . The last Ice armlet A band that is worn around the upper Age lasted from around 100. gauntlet A heavy glove with a long cuff. flat brooch or badge. fluted Decorated with regular vertical grooves pleated Folded and pressed or stitched in or dips. glasslike substance that can ocher A type of rock or earth that is used for be produced in a range of colors and is often making brown. baton A long. the earth were covered with ice. South America. The jackal was the bodice The tight-fitting upper part of a symbol of the Egyptian god Anubis. flail An instrument with a handle and a free. or a rock. obsidian A dark.Glossary alloy A mixture of two or more metals. shaggy hair gilded Decorated with gold. which grows in the Andes Mountains. aboriginal hunters in Australia. 10. Boomerangs are used by found in rocks. yellow. flounced Gathered to create a ruffle. place. plaque A small. nomad A member of a tribe or people that cochineal insect A Mexican insect whose wander from place to place. patterns made from gold or silver threads. orange. coca leaves Leaves from the coca plant. Alpacas have long. loincloth A piece of cloth worn around the braided Divided into strands and twisted waist or hips and covering the bottom.000 years ago. thin stick sometimes carried by jackal mask A mask made to look like a wild a warrior. into three strands and twisted together. mica A type of rock that can be split into very brocade A rich fabric with a raised pattern thin sheets. through the air and returns to its thrower if it lapis lazuli A bright turquoise-blue mineral misses its target. amulet An ornament or piece of jewelry that henna A reddish dye made from the powdered is believed to bring its owner good luck. Brocades often have raised moccasin A shoe made from soft leather. volcanic rock.000 years ago to arm. and yellow used to decorate metal objects. that gives color to something. pigments. desert dog called a jackal. fez A cone-shaped hat without a brim. woven into it. pectoral A large ornament worn on the chest. that is used to make fine wool. such as a plant swinging end. fuller Someone who makes and treats cloth. layers of gathered fabric. or pink in color. motif A figure or shape in a design. glassy. which pieces of a different material are sewn Ice Age A period of time when large parts of onto the fabric. moss-like plant that grows on braid A length of hair that has been divided trees and rocks. used for beating corn or as a whip. red. lichen A flat. together. leaves of the henna plant that grows in Asia appliqué A method of decorating fabric in and North Africa. crushed body produces a bright crimson dye. gauze A very thin woven cloth that is almost alpaca A goatlike animal that comes from transparent. gold leaf An extremely thin layer of gold.

1983) that is brownish-red in color. Costume of the Classical World sardonyx A gemstone with reddish-brown and (Batsford. David. David. usually made of Jade: The Americas before Columbus from crocus flowers. Starr. 1999) that are tied at one end. Encyclopedia (Southwater. Young Adult Sources tasseled Decorated with bunches of threads Chandler.costumes. Costume of Ancient Egypt of a liquid. 1980) white stripes. 1994) Internet Resources http://www. 62 . (Batsford. Costume of Ancient Rome curves. Terence.org/history/100pages/ greeklinks. Costume of Ancient Greece scabbard A holder for a sword or dagger. Ancient World: The Illustrated History tuber A kind of plant root. A History of the Ancient sarong A draped. (Dorling Kindersley.. Brian M. Fiona. skirtlike garment made from World (Oxford.htm A general website on the history of costume with links to sites on different cultures of the ancient world and their costumes. Everyday Life in the tiered Having several layers. Marion. 2001) wicker A flexible twig or shoot. (Thames and Hudson.org The Costumer’s Manifesto A general website on the history of costume with links to sites on different cultures. and their costumes. http://www. 1987) serpentine A dark green rock with a shiny Wise. Kingdoms of Gold. Haywood. The Ancient World (Usborne. Fagan. Chester G. Anne.costumes. Symons. (Chelsea House. East (Osprey. 1987) scalloped Wavy. unglazed pottery Civilizations (Mayfield. The Encyclopedia of Ancient terracotta A type of hard. Jane. Kingdoms saffron An orange-yellow color. 1987) sediment Solid bits that settle at the bottom Watson. or made up of a series of Symons. often used for Millard. Sichel. 1991) Americans. John (Ed). Chisholm. Cotterell. The Usborne Book of the tepee A conical tent made by Native Ancient World (Usborne. Ancient Armies of the Middle surface. Further Information rouge Red powder or paste applied to the Adult General Reference Sources cheeks.. 1991) sandalwood A sweet-smelling wood. Arthur. 1981) standard-bearer Someone who carries the flag (or standard) for a company of soldiers. Philip. (Batsford. The Atlas of the Ancient World weaving. 1991) a strip of cloth.

to the present.htm home life. http://www.” The site includes instructions for Ancient Egypt: Clothing page with diagrams. http://www.villaivilla.greyhawkes. correctly wrapping a toga.library.com/Cleo/ romanpages.html Roman Dress. has photos. and clothing in ancient Egypt. Ornaments and Social of the Roman Empire site.edu/hsc/museum/ http://www.ucl. including many color photos and pattern diagrams of http://www. http://www.uk Greek Jewelry: Five Thousand Years of Digital Egypt for Universities includes Tradition has beautiful photographs.com/culture/ http://www. part of the Illustrated History Phoenician Dress.smith. with footnotes. and detailed information on Roman of all classes. and a multiple pages on textile production.annaswebart.html Cleopatra1.vroma. acquainted with the rhythm of daily life in ancient Rome and learn about fashions for http://www. clothing styles.html http://www.reshafim. 63 .net/society/ soc-dress. Habits: an outline of ancient Phoenician dress diagrams.com/blacksword/ ancient_inventions/home.ca/east/ costhistory/ students03/tai_amy/ Greek Costume through the Centuries The Evolution of Chinese Costume covers concentrates mainly on women’s dress from the changes in Chinese dress from ancient times Minoan Civilization to the nineteenth century. dining and cuisine.davidclaudon. costumes worn by performers depicting her since the sixteenth century. their uses. http://www.add.il/ad/egypt/ men and women.utoronto.roman-empire.html Rome: Republic to Empire has a section on The Cleopatra Costume on Stage and in Film Roman clothing with many details of examines in detail both the probable clothing accessories for both men and women.org/dress.http://www.com/ surviving garments.htm Inventions has recreations of prehistoric How to Make a Chiton: instructions for making and ancient textile tools with descriptions of ancient Greek female dress.html http://phoenicia. tools detailed history of the subject. also images of jewelry Villa Ivilla.ac. where you can “become and tools for body art.gr/jewel/elka/index.digitalegypt.htm Spartan%20Combat%20Arts%202001/ The Smith College Museum of Ancient 1-Pages/HowTo/Clothing/Chiton. and detailed bibliography and links. and timelines/topics/clothing. of the real Cleopatra. photos.org/~bmcmanus/ http://www.org. as well as the theatrical including diagrams for recreating them.

7. 48. 23. 46 weaving 17. 51 emperors 49 makeup/cosmetics 12. 18–19. 43. leather 6. 53 53. 49. 13. 41. 51. 27. 33. 36. 37 copper 9. 29. 39 boots 26. cosmetics/makeup 11. 28. 22–23. 32. 41. 17. 29. 57. 28. 44. 37. 19. 55 fur 6. 57. 28. 12. 37. 15 Buddhism 46–47 Phoenicians 20–21 Ice Age 6–7 Prehistoric people 6–7 Canaanites 17 India 46–47 priests and monks 14. 49. 11. 35. 45. 23. 18. 37. 29. 52. 28. 15. 39. 16. 59 dresses 11. 31. 53. 23. 49 helmets 9. 31–25 Myceneans 29–30 Adena people 52. 31. 12–13. 23. 31. 26. 58 Assyrians 22–23 headbands 28. 56. 34–35. 37. Sparta 31–35 58 47 straw 49 dyes 8. 19. 27. 23. 33. 35. 44. 17. Paracas people 55 Babylonians 24 53. 55 Great Plains 52 muslin 47 64 . 53. 33. decorations 7. castes 46 Indus Valley 46 46–47 Celts 44–45 ceremonies 18–19. 31. 29. 49. 46 Pacific 51 headdresses 9. 45. 30. 17. 58–59 skincare 29. 33. Sea Peoples 17 China 48–49 25. 30. 29. 46. 47. 49. loinclothes 20. warriors and gladiators 17. 30. 19. 45. 15. 15. 45. 56 Australian aborigines 51 hairstyles 9. 58 papyrus 11 Barbarians 44 Hebrews 18 patterns and designs 23. 46. 24. 44 moccasins 53 wigs 12. 54. 52. 46. 13. 29. 11. 33. 14. 33. 55 43. 52 Japan 50 Scythians 26 children 13. 29. 26. 28. 46 jewelry 9. 49. 55. 26. Index actors 40–41 Greece 17. 27. 32. 39 Crete 28 soldiers. 30. 14. shawls 23. 42. 30. togas 36. 28. 47. animal skins 6. 49. 26. 52 Hittites 17 Persians 25. 37. 27. 55 Macedonians 34 tattooes 7. 46. 51 Hindu tradition 47 perfumes 13. 45 42. 46 feathers 7. 40 Moche people 56 wool 17. 26. 53. 38. 24. 47. 32. 22. 57 peasants 49 body painting 6. 55 silk 31. 33. 24. 33. 51. 47. 45. gods and goddesses 14. 34 hunters 6–7. 37 53 trade and export 9. 47. 33. 23. 50 Maoris 51 turbans 18. Silk Road 49 cotton 31. 49. 25. 23. 25. 26. 25. 26. 45. 11. 59 Minoans 28 54. 49. 23. 37. 31. 51. 56. 53 38. 49. 27. 59 masks 15. 53 44. 56 shoes and sandals 11. 26. 50. 23. 52. 11. queens and emperors 14. 28. 26. Sumerians 9 55 57. 35. 46. 52 38. 34 bras 37 Hopewell people 53 Peru 54–55 bronze 9. 49. beards 9. 25. 20. 46. 36. 37. 38. 47. 23. 34. 14. 37. 37. 42–43. 30. linen 10. 42. 50 costumes 40 kings. 38. 28. 48–49. 28. 53 Gupta Empire 47 Arctic 52 nobles and lords 12. 18. 53 pharoahs 12. 53 farmers 10. 20–21. 56. 55 belts 24. 27. 17. 29. 54 20. 58 Syria 8 embroidery 48. 20. 45. 53. 39 kilts 11. 49. 13. 17. 14. 58 Olmecs 57 Aryan people 46–47 hats and caps 20. 58 Turkey 17 felt 27 Maya 58 Franks 44 merchants 17.