Talk:Clothing in the ancient world

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Suggestion for title[edit]

Someone suggested changing the title to include more than clothing, elsewhere there's "apparel". On second thoughts, in English "costume" can cover a lot of things thought it looks like a direct untranslation, it does fit. Personally I found this article by using the key word "clothing". Julia Rossi 00:50, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Why don't we just take out the Ancient China Clothing and others on the bottom. They just waste space since there is nothing under it. Gunnerdevil4 01:53, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I've done just that. (Hi, I'm the main translator.) Someone on the translation page suggested that the title be changed to 'Clothing in the ancient Mediterranean world.' Unfortunately I do not have sufficient privileges on Wikipedia to carry this out. --Heebiejeebieclub (talk) 20:13, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I like Clothing in the ancient world, but would also support Dress in the ancient world; similar articles now are Byzantine dress and Early medieval European dress. - PKM (talk) 23:58, 29 December 2007 (UTC)


I deleted something in the china section that said "most just run around naked"

Clothing in the Ancient European World[edit]

Here is a more appropriate title for this entry, or the contents of it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Marvellousmartha (talkcontribs) 08:55, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

It is better to expand the content here than to narrow to scope of the article. Furthermore, Egypt in not part of Europe. şṗøʀĸɕäɾłäů∂ɛ:τᴀʟĸ 10:45, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Egypt is part of the conglomerate of civilizations north of the Sahara desert (excluding Western Africa) and as far east as the Indus River that comprise the basic history education given to primary and secondary students in the anglosphere (and presumably throughout Europe), an academic subject that was until recent years merely referred to as "history" (now with the qualifier "history of western civilization"). Hence, it would be more accurate to re-title this article "Clothing in Ancient Western Civilization." Blacksun1942 (talk) 23:36, 13 August 2013 (UTC)


this article is okay. although i think the clothing is a little short. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:15, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Many dubious bits in Egyptian section[edit]

There are several statements in the Ancient Egyptian section that seem rather dubious to me.

  1. Kohl, used as eyeliner, eventually was obtained as a substitute for galena or lead oxide that had been used for centuries All other sources I can find state that Egyptian kohl was galena, and use of substitutes is a much more recent practice, dating only since the discovery that galena is toxic.
  2. A peculiar ornament which the Egyptians created was gorgerin, an assembly of metal discs which rested on the chest skin or a short-sleeved shirt, and tied at the back. Gorgerin is simply the French word for gorget, and was used by some French archaeologists to describe part of the costume of Tutankamun's mummy. Is there any evidence (apart from the sources which have begun to quote this one!) that such a thing was a regular part of Egyptian costume?
  3. Jewels were heavy and rather bulky, which would indicate an Asian influence. How on earth would this indicate an Asian influence? Egyptian civilisation is almost the oldest in the world (Early Dynastic Period -- including metalworking and jewellery -- began 3100 BC), considerably older than Indian (c. 2600 BC for Mohenjo Daro) and Chinese civilisation (c. 2000 BC for Erlitou culture.) If there was any culutural exchange between these groups, surely it would be the other way around. But it is a very long bow to draw that the mere size of jewellery indicates its cultural origin!
  4. Some of the lower class people of this time also created many different types of piercings and body decorations; some of which even included genital piercings, commonly found on women prostitutes of the time. Is there any cite available to support this extraordinary claim? I can find no evidence of it, and this site specifically states the exact opposite. It should be noted that there have been other examples on WP of people making claims to support their own particular sexual fetishes, including someone who attempts to claim that genital and nipple piercings are more ancient and widespread than the actual historical evidence would support, so particular care should be taken to ensure that such claims are supported by cites.
  5. Draped clothes, with very large rolls, gave the impression of wearing several items. It was in fact a haïk, often of very fine muslin. Huh? A haïk is nothing like Ancient Egyptian female dress. It is a type of modern Arabic female dress that includes a head covering and completely conceals the body apart from the eyes. And it is certainly made from much heavier fabric than muslin.
  6. See also ... Cairo. Huh?! Cairo was built by the Muslim Umayyads in the 7th century AD. It has nothing to do with Ancient Egyptian clothing!
  7. Nails and hands also were painted, with henna. Henna does seem to have been used in some mummification rituals, and there is precisely one known example of its use as a hair dye (by an old man who had been red-haired in his youth.) But contrary to widespread myth (mainly propagated by those trying to market the stuff), there is little evidence that henna was used as a cosmetic for the living in Ancient Egypt; see e.g.
  8. Only the lower class had tattoos. This is blatantly untrue; tattoos are known from the mummies of princesses and high priestesses. What is certain is that only women had tattoos, and that all known examples were of a similar pattern, and in a location not normally visible in public. The belief of Joann Fletcher (an expert on tattoos in archaeology) is that Egyptian tattoos were medicinal charms intended to given protection during child-birth; see

With apologies to those who have worked on it in good faith, I think I would have to say at this point that this whole section is so riddled with myths, conjecture and outright propaganda that the whole section should be marked dubious, and re-written with proper cites. -- (talk) 01:25, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Just wanted to offer my sincere thanks and encouragement to the anonymous user who posted this detailed informationa few years ago. It's a shame that the article has still not been improved. I suggest that a thorough re-write is necessary. I'm going to add the appropriate cleanup template. Blacksun1942 (talk) 00:55, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
OK, I see there are problems throughout the article, actually. For some reason it has been a repeat target of vandalism, and in the dozens of vandalism reversions, many errors have slipped through. Some it doesn't even make sense. For example for years this article has said:
In addition to Cretan styles, Cycladelic clothing was worn as pants across the continent. A triangular front released the top of the thighs. One could say it was clothing of an athletic population, because of this and the fact that the chest always was naked. It was sometimes covered with a cask, probably ritualistically.
I can't even work out what most of that is meant to mean. I can say that there is no such word as "Cycladelic" (presumably "Cycladic" is meant?), that Cycladic clothing did not incorporate pants, that it did not influence a whole continent, the next sentence is incomprehensible, the one after that is subjective speculation at best, and the mind boggles at that weird stuff about casks. This whole paragraph is nonsense, and it has stayed in the article for years! -- (talk) 01:59, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

They wrote a religiously motivated myth about garments made of linen and wool not being allowed in the temples in Egypt. The children of Israel lived in Egypt, and because a garment made of both flax fibers and wool fibers would tear revealing your nakedness, garments made of mingled linen and wool were forbid to be worn anywhere by the Law of Moses, and genetically modified foods were forbidden also.

"You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle gender with a diverse kind, you shall not sow your field with mingled seed, neither shall a garment mingled of linen and wool come upon you."

Leviticus 19:19 JosephLoegering (talk) 12:26, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

More cultures[edit]

The entire ancient world consists of Egypt, Greek, and Rome? Come on people! Way more breadth needed, this is not even scratching the surface. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:45, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

This article's inclusion in "Prehistoric Technology"[edit]

The inclusion of this article in the "Prehistoric technology" topic betrays a lack of understanding of what the words "prehistory" and "history" mean. Per Prehistory, Prehistory (meaning "before we had written records," from the Latin word for "before," præ) is the span of time before recorded history or the invention of writing systems. Prehistoric technology and the outline of prehistoric technology should give some better idea of what prehistoric technology actually is, and note this section. Blacksun1942 (talk) 11:46, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

User:Blacksun1942, can you explain? I've checked and I don't see any mentions of prehistoric technology on the page or the talk page other than this - maybe I am being uncommonly unobservant. (I would have removed them had I found them.) Mabalu (talk) 15:12, 14 August 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I see what you mean now! Obviously people can't tell the difference between ancient and prehistory, after a quick look through the template. Have to agree that I don't see that it's really appropriate for inclusion... Mabalu (talk) 15:16, 14 August 2013 (UTC)

Ancient Indian clothing[edit]

A new editor has inserted a MASSIVE load of text on Indian clothing in this article, a lot of which is completely unreferenced. It looks like it is copied from somewhere else, possibly even someone's personal essay or research paper. I've deleted everything that isn't "ancient" (basically everything that is not BCE/BC - this belongs in a separate article) as this is basically a whole new article (History of Indian clothing) in its own right (but MUST be referenced/sourced properly), and am going through the section making some outstanding basic copy edits/style tweaks. Mabalu (talk) 11:34, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

The new article (History of Indian clothing), has been created by coping the entire section Ancient Indian clothing of article (Clothing in the ancient world) section of this article. It has been created after the creation this article. So Ancient Indian clothing section of this article is the firstly created article and the article (History of Indian clothing) has been created subsequently. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bhargav.b.chauhan (talkcontribs) 12:43, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

User:Mauryans: I hope you don't mind, I've transferred all your work over to History of Indian clothing and condensed what you added to this page into a summary. :) Mabalu (talk) 12:47, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Also hello, Bhargav.b.chauhan - you certainly seem to know your way around Wikipedia already. The text was transferred because it was overwhelming the rest of the article, which is for brief summaries and overviews. The depth of detail and information is appropriate for a new article, whilst I have heavily condensed the original text on this page to give a better balance. Mabalu (talk) 12:51, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Mabalu for the appropriate move. But my point was just about the firstly contributions to the data of the article. Also I once again thank you for your move. Bhargav.b.chauhan (talk) 13:02, 26 January 2015 (UTC)Bhargav