Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Pskov Apron Dress--How Many Straps?

I was thinking about the NESAT X article on the Pskov find over the past few days, and I had a new thought.

The strap traces found by the archaeologists can be read as showing that the dress *did* have three sets of loops--short ones in the front, and two pair of long ones in the back. Consider the passage I quoted in my last post on the subject:

On one of the narrow lateral strips of the detail described, at a distance of 20 and 25 cm from the place to which it is attached on the broad central part, the remains of threads and traces of sewn on straps have also been recognized. (emphasis mine)

I originally read the boldface language in the sentence quoted above as showing uncertainty about the location of remains of stitching where a strap had been sewn onto the "narrow lateral strip". But upon re-reading the article, I think I got that wrong. I now think that what the authors are really saying is that there are traces of straps at two different locations on the "narrow lateral strip"--located 20 and 25 cm away from the strap location on the front respectively. Moreover, they go on to say, in so many words, that they believe that there would be as many straps on the strip on the other side, even though the relevant parts of the strip on the other side do not survive:

The general symmetry of detail no. 6, as well as the symmetrical position of the remains of one of the straps, and the traces of a similar one on the central part all suggest the presence of the identical straps on its second narrow lateral strip. (emphasis mine)

Aside from this remark in the Pskov reconstructors article, I don't think the traces could belong to only one strap, because apron dress straps are typically no more than 1 cm wide, not 5 cm. In addition, the surviving front loop is only about 1 cm wide, consistent with other loop finds, and the article says that the "distance between the [stitching] holes [on the decorated part of the panel] was equal to the width of the preserved fragment of the strap." Zubkova, Orfinskaya & Mikhailov at 297.

So this may mean is that there were *two* sets of straps on the back part of the Pskov dress--which opens up new possibilities for how to suspend the dress from brooches securely in a way that would display the silk ornamentation to advantage. I *must* make time to do some experimenting to see how that would work.

No comments:

Post a Comment