News: Archaeologists Find Ancient Mummy Approximately 1,500 Years Old in Mongolia

Siberian Times - Ancient Mongolian Mummy

Remains of a suspected female of Turkik origin have been found at an altitude of 2,803 metres in the Altai Mountains.

The ancient human remains are wrapped in felt. The excavation is being hailed as the first complete Turkik burial found in Central Asia. B. Sukhbaatar, researcher at Khovd Museum, said: ‘This person was not from elite, and we believe it was likely a woman, because there is no bow in the tomb. Now we are carefully unwrapping the body and once this is complete the specialists will be able to say more precisely about the gender.’

In the mummy’s grave archaeologists found – alongside the human remains – a saddle, bridle, clay vase, wooden bowl, trough, iron kettle, the remains of an entire horse, and four different ‘Dool’ (Mongolian clothes). There were also pillows, a sheep’s head and felt travel bag in which were placed the whole back of a sheep, goat bones and a small leather bag for the cup.

Sukhbaatar said: ‘It is the first complete Turkik burial at least in Mongolia – and probably in all Central Asia. This is a very rare phenomenon. These finds show us the beliefs and rituals of Turkiks.’

To read the full article, visit the website of the Siberian Times.

Event: Visit to ‘Life and Sole – Footwear from the Islamic World’ at the British Museum, with Curator Fahmida Suleman and Conservator Barbara Wills

British Museum - Life and Sole, Footwear from the Islamic World

Men’s leather shoes embroidered with gold thread. Pakistan, 1900–1930s. As1987,06.2.a-b. Copyright British Museum.

Event date: Wednesday 27 April 2016, 1.30–2.30pm

Join us for a privileged tour of this wonderful exhibition of around 25 pairs of shoes, slippers, sandals, clogs and boots from North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Central Asia and South Asia, that are being shown together for the first time.

Fahmida Suleman is Phyllis Bishop curator for the Modern Middle East and is responsible for the museum’s outstanding collection of ethnographic objects and textiles from the Middle East and Central Asia. She also has historic links with Oxford having obtained her Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Islamic Art and Archaeology from the University of Oxford.

Barbara Wills is Conservator of Organic Artefacts and worked on items displayed in this exhibition. Barbara works on a wide range of organic materials and specialises in the conservation of leather, basketry materials and Ancient Egyptian objects.

Meet at 1.20pm inside the entrance of the John Addis Gallery of the Islamic World (Room 34), British Museum. Tour to begin at 1.30pm. There will be time to visit other exhibits and the café afterwards.

OATG members free, non-members £3. Coat check available at the museum for £1.50 per item. The exhibition is free and continues until 15 May 2016.

Please RVSP to so we have an idea of numbers attending in advance.

Exhibition: Life and Sole – Footwear from the Islamic World

British Museum - Life and Sole, Footwear from the Islamic World

Exhibition dates: 14 November 2015 – 15 May 2016

Some twenty-five pairs of shoes, slippers, sandals, clogs and boots from North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Central Asia and South Asia are being shown together for the first time. Dating from 1800 onwards, they demonstrate the important role footwear has always played in the social and cultural life of people living in these regions. The display presents a variety of regional styles, materials, embellishments and shoe manufacturing traditions. It examines shoes as status symbols, class indicators and diplomatic gifts.

The display includes shoes for bathing rituals, children, specific vocations, extreme environments and ceremonial occasions. A pair of richly embroidered red leather slippers (tarkasin), made in Ghadamis, Libya, would have formed an important part of a bride’s wedding trousseau. Luxuriant stilted bath clogs (qabqab) from nineteenth-century Ottoman Turkey, over ten inches high, would have been worn by an urban, upper-class woman. A pair of qabqab made in 2014 by Palestinian fashion designer Omar Joseph Nasser-Khoury uses the form of these iconic sandals to comment on contemporary Middle Eastern politics. Delicately patterned men’s leather loafers from early twentieth-century Pakistan (pictured above) combine Western footwear styles with South Asian opulence.

Together, these shoes express identities, beliefs, traditions and lifestyles of people from across the Islamic world. They represent the significance of footwear in Islamic social and cultural life and the impact of international trade and politics on footwear fashions.

For more information, visit the website of the British Museum, London.

Exhibition: Old Patterns, New Order

GW Textile Museum - Old-Patterns-Carpet-Weavers

Exhibition dates: 10 October 2015 – 29 May 2016

Under Soviet political rule, artists across Central Asia created images that both embraced modernity and idealised the past. This exhibition examines the socialist realist art movement in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and other areas of Central Asia, pairing twentieth-century paintings with examples of the traditional textiles they depict.

For more information, visit the website of the Textile Museum, Washington DC.

Event: Dr Elena Tsareva Talks about Treasures from the Neville Kingston Collection of Piled and Flatwoven Rugs of Central Asian Nomads

ORTS Talk - Elena Tsareva - Neville Kingston Collection

Event date: Wednesday 18 November 2015, 7pm

Dr Elena Tsareva, from the Russian Federation Kunstkamera Museum, St Petersburg, will talk about treasures from the Neville Kingston collection of piled and flatwoven rugs of Central Asian nomads.

Previously a curator at the Ethnographic Museum, St Petersburg, Elena has published over one hundred works on archaeological and ethnographic textiles of Northern Eurasia and conducted field expeditions to Central Asia. Since 1978 she has been a committee member of the International Conference of Oriental Carpets and more recently a member of the academic committee to the St Petersburg ICOC conference in 2011.

The talk will take place at St. James Conference Room, 197 Piccadilly, W1J 9LL, London. The conference room entrance is at the corner of Church Place and Piccadilly at a wrought iron gate signed ‘Church Hall Conference Room’, leading down iron stairs below street level. Doors will be open from 6pm. Drinks and snacks will be served.

Both Green Park and Piccadilly tube stations are a short walk away. Free parking in St James Square and Jermyn Street after 6.30pm.

Please note this is an Oriental Rug and Textile Society event, but non-members are welcome to attend: £7 single lecture, £5 students, or choose £20 for one year’s membership (11 events).

We recommend coming early as there will be high demand for seats.

For more information, visit the website of the Oriental Rug and Textile Society.

Event: OATG’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations – Talk by Ruth Barnes on the Ashmolean’s Robert Shaw Collection

Ashmolean - Robert Shaw Collection cap - OATG 20th Anniversary

Event date: Saturday 8 August 2015, 2–5pm

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Oxford Asian Textiles Group (OATG), this talk will examine the remarkable collection of ikat coats and other garments from Central Asia collected by explorer Robert Shaw in 1868‒1869 on his travels from India to Yarkand and Kashgar.

In 1995 Dr Ruth Barnes initiated the founding of the OATG, with the specific aim of making the Oxford textile collections better known to specialists and the interested public. Since leaving the Ashmolean Museum, Ruth is now Senior Curator in the Department of Indo-Pacific Art at Yale University, USA.

Drinks will be served from 2pm, and the talk will take place at 2.30pm. Questions and refreshments, including birthday cake, will follow!

Tickets £5/£4 concessions. Free entry for OATG members. Booking is essential: click here to book.

For more information, visit the Ashmolean event’s Facebook page.