Textiles of Central Asia from the 5th to the 9th Century: Riddles and Hypotheses.

conference by Gilles Béguin, Honorary General Curator of Heritage, former director of the Cernuschi museum.

For about thirty years, textiles of various sizes have appeared on the art market, with clearly recognizable technique and style. their materials favoring silk. The variety of their patterns favors beaded medallions and animals facing in "mirror symmetry", betraying an oriental origin. These fragile testimonies with a sumptuous appearance and a mysterious origin are part of a large group of comparable remains, widely distributed in Eurasia and known for a long time. Witness the treasures of European churches where, since the High Middle Ages, fragments of oriental fabrics enveloped sacred relics. The same is true of the many examples uncovered during archaeological excavations in Central Asia. Historians naturally relate these luxury products to the East-West trade networks known as the “Silk Road”. We will discuss various hypotheses concerning their dating and their places of weaving.


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