Saturday, March 28, 2009

Pskov Re-Creation Project--Introduction

In 2007, shortly after reading Peter Beatson's summary of the Pskov fabric find, I decided to attempt my own reconstruction of a costume represented by a substantial collection of textile fragments found in a birchbark box in one of the graves.

The textiles included fragments of the neckline, hem and cuffs of what were assumed to be part of a linen shift or undertunic; the hem and cuffs were trimmed with wide strips of what appears to have been red silk. The other fragment was about five feet (152 cm) long and 9 inches (25 cm) wide. It was made of blue-colored linen, but was trimmed with three strips of colored silk, two of which were blue, one of which reddish and was patterned. This piece is believed to be the remains of an apron dress, because it was found wrapped around a pair of large tortoise brooches with blue linen loops still inside them.

I plan to reconstruct both the shift and the apron dress as part of this project. I've supplied links to all of the photographs because I am hoping to get feedback from my readers, both as to the viability and correctness of the Pskov archaeological team's proposed reconstruction and on my own thoughts about how to reconstruct these garments.

Note: the photos I have reference in this post were linked to by Peter Beatson, but came from the Pskov team's website, which is written in Russian. The original Russian web page seems now to be unavailable, but a translation into English of that site by Lisa Kies is available here. EDIT: I have revised the entry to show the photographs as they appear in Lisa Kies's translation of the Pskov's team's former website.

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