© Benaki Museum


Name of Object:

Floor mat

Location:

Athens, Greece

Holding Museum:

Benaki Museum

Date:

10th century

Type of object:

Prayer rug

Museum Inventory Number:

14743

Material(s) / Technique(s):

Plain weave with brocaded decoration, hemp and bast fibre; fringe along one edge

Dimensions:

57 x 45 cm

Provenance:

Tiberias

Description:

An almost complete mat has perimetrical bands with lozenge designs and triangular motifs. It combines brocaded decoration with self-patterned elements such as the beaded medallions in the centre. Two parallel lines of inscriptions are included in the composition and repeat the same word baraka (blessing) in a poorly executed kufic script. Geniza records describe how such reed mats were used to cover the floor surface and how detailed descriptions might be given to weavers in order to fill every available space. Based on this information, this small mat could be part of a larger commission, used to fill specific recesses or the entrance of a room.

How date and origin were established:

The form of the repetitive word in the kufic script places it to this period

How Object was obtained:

Acquired in Egypt

How provenance was established:

Geniza records describe how such mats were used to cover the floor surface and how detailed descriptions might be given to weavers in order to fill every available space. Based on this information, this small mat could be part of a larger commission, used to fill specific recesses or the entrance of a room.

Selected bibliography:

Published in Moraitou, M., "Early islamic Textiles", Hali, 156 (summer 2008): 62-64.

Citation of this web page:

Mina Moraitou "Floor mat" in [Discover Carpet Art] , Museum With No Frontiers, 2017. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;DCA;gr;Mus31;7;en&id=religious_life

Prepared by: Mina Moraitou

MWNF Working Number: GR1_007