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Two of them wear soft turbans (plate lxx; Peck, pls. LXIX, LXX) reminiscent of those worn by female musicians on a 3rd-century Gandharan relief from Peshawar (Ingholt, 1957, pl. Two other harpists wear rectangular headdresses with wide pendant bands of cloth or ribbon embroidered with panels in a repeat design (Peck, fig. A necklace of beads encircles the neck (Ghirshman, 1962, p.
Wide cuffs adorned with rosettes and birds recall the pairs of heavy bracelets worn by Palmyrene women (represented on funerary reliefs of the 3rd century; Mac Kay, fig. LVII/2, LVIII) and the embroidered and jeweled cuffs of their coats (Ingholt, 1928, pl. High collars with central fastenings appear in no other Sasanian representations and can be compared only to elements of the caftan, a fitted coat with long sleeves, worn by a prince in a 3rd-century Kushan sculpture from Surkh Kotal (Sorḵ Kotal) in Afghanistan (Schlumberger, pl. The harpists at Ṭāq-e Bostān, though damaged, provide rare evidence for head coverings worn by Sasanian women of the lower ranks; most other depictions are of queens or deities. Their hair, plaited and tied with beads, recalls the hairstyle of the small figure on a plate in the Guennol collection (Harper, 1981, pl. A third rectangular hat is constructed with two narrow bands joined at the back in a bow with decorated ribbon ends (plate lxx; Peck, pl. Another type of royal dress soon became characteristic, however (Herrmann, 1969, pp. A light cloak floats from the shoulders to the knees; in some instances it is secured at the breast by a clasp consisting of two circles with pendant pleated ribbons.
On the unfinished relief at Naqš-e Rostam a figure, probably also to be identified as Šāpūrduxtak, seems to wear a similar mantle and a necklace of round gems, as she does in a portrait bust on the silver Zargveshi cup in the Museum for the History of Ethnography of Georgia, Tbilisi (Ghirshman, 1962, p.
A seal of Dēnag and another that may portray the wife of Šāpūr I demonstrate that at the beginning of the Sasanian period the collar of large round stones was already part of the parure of a royal lady (Lukonin, p.
The earliest representations of Sasanian male dress date from the reign of Ardašīr I (226-41); they are found at Fīrūzābād, Naqš-e Rajab, and Naqš-e Rostam. This type of heavy tunic was worn in slightly different forms throughout the Sasanian period and had a long tradition in Persia and western Asia. When combined with a shorter tunic and trousers it was fastened by cords or lappets at the breast (Ghirshman, 1964, pp.
II, III, IV); that of the king at Naqš-e Rajab has elaborately folded sleeves (a style peculiar to this relief; plate lxxiv).
The necklace and cloak continued as marks of royalty in the reign of Narseh I (293-302), both appearing on the portrait bust of a queen on a silver bowl in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Harper, 1981, p. 5), and the necklace in a depiction of a royal lady on a vessel in the Iran Bastan Museum in Tehran (Harper, 1981, pp. 63, 68, 91, 93), its shape and its fastening are particularly characteristic of Sasanian dress; in Palmyrene representations the beaded necklace is usually found in conjunction with other collars (Colledge, 1976, pls. XXXIII); this ornament is richer than those in Parthian and Palmyrene depictions (Colledge, 1977, pls.
Although the mantle, like the long tunic, may ultimately have been derived from Hellenistic prototypes as transformed by Parthian and Syrian fashion (Colledge, 1976, pls. The goddess Anāhīd is dressed as a Sasanian queen in the Investiture relief of Narseh at Naqš-e Rostam (plate lxxii; Ghirshman, 1962, p. Instead of the royal cloak with clasps a heavy, smooth coat with long sleeves is draped over the shoulders like a mantle, in the manner of Achaemenid male figures in the reliefs at Persepolis (see ii, above) and of female representations in Scythian art (Knauer, figs. Anāhīd is represented on one of the capitals from Ṭāq-e Bostān wearing the more conventional cloak with a roundel at the shoulder (Herzfeld p. 413), though on another capital she seems to wear a heavy coat (Ghirshman, 1962, p. XXVII), and the surface is patterned with roundels enclosing rosettes, each with four heart-shaped petals (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pls. Georgina Thompson has cited the Avestan hymn to Anāhitā ( 5; see ābān yašt), in which her typically rich costume is described as made of 300 beaver skins (1965, p. In the Ṭāq-e Bostān relief Anāhīd’s robe does not cover her feet as it does in other representations, and it is possible to see that she wears soft slippers decorated at the insteps with double ovoid jewels (Fukai and Horiuchi, II, pl.
In the Sasanian period Female dress Investigation of female dress in the Sasanian period (224-651 c.e.) is hampered by the small number of preserved representations of women relative to those of men. The dress worn by females who were neither royal nor divine consisted of a long tunic derived from the Greek chiton, either unbelted with long sleeves or sleeveless and girt below the breast.
This costume appeared as early as the reign of Šāpūr I (241-72) in the mosaics of Bīšāpūr (Ghirshman, 1956, frontispiece and pls. A veil worn over the sleeved tunic, draped around the lower body and passing over the left shoulder (Ghirshman, 1962, p. 181), appears to have been a descendant of the Greek himation, later adopted by Roman matrons (Ghirshman, 1956, p. The version of this costume depicted at Bīšāpūr had its immediate antecedents in the long tunic and veil worn by powerful and wealthy women of the 2nd and 3rd centuries c.e., as depicted on Parthian and Palmyrene monuments (Peck, p.
A lighter variation of the coat was worn open over a long tunic and leggings, though fastened at the breast with circular clasps and sometimes tied with ribbons. They were the rounded tall hat, with or without neck guards, borrowed from royal Parthian fashion, and the soft “Phrygian” cap, with a point falling forward; both styles were sometimes tied with long fillets or decorated with devices of rank (Kawami, pls. 13/a, 29, 38/k, 38/u, 38/w, 47/a; Ghirshman, 1962, p.