A successful first seminar

The first in the Late Antique Archaeology seminar series was held at the University of Kent at the beginning of October with great success. The speaker for this first event was PhD student and VLAC project member Faith Morgan, who introduced the audience to the processes involved in making reconstructions of clothing from the late antique period.

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Seminar attendee Christopher Sparey-Green in a replica cloak

Through her careful firsthand analysis of clothing remains in museum collections across Europe, Faith has collated relevant information such as measurements, construction methods, patterns of wear, and mending. These details inform the replica pieces that she then makes herself. The majority of items are linen or wool textile (with the wool blankets available in Faith’s local charity shops providing a great source of potential fabric!).

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Andrew Massoura in a replica late antique tunic

The seminar also illustrated the differing states of conservation that pieces of late antique clothing have in collections, ranging from the well-conserved and near complete, to the extremely fragmentary. Many of the items of clothing that Faith has studied are also not on display to the general public. Rather excitingly, Faith brought along a selection of her garment reconstructions, illustrating not only the variety of clothing in late antiquity but also providing the audience with an opportunity to dress up. The garments included a large narrow sleeved tunic, several cloaks of various forms, and some replica underpants!

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Dr Luke Lavan demonstrates how to properly chastise ‘pupil’ David Walsh whilst wearing late antique clothing

The next VLAC project member to speak as part of this seminar series will be on 19th December; PhD student Jo Stoner will be speaking on the subject of the basket as a monastic product in late antique Egypt. Seminars are held every month at the University of Kent in KS15 (Keynes College) from 1.00-2.00 p.m.