Rameses girdle

Dynasty 20: reign of Rameses III (about 1185 BC)


A mostly red and white striped belt with tassles at one end and loops at the other

This is an incrediably rare woven linen belt known as the 'Rameses girdle'. It is 5.2 metres long and would have wrapped several times round the waist as part of the king's military uniform.

The design consists of stripes, zig-zags, dots and rows of ankh-signs in coloured linen. The band was probably woven on a simple loom, it has been estimated that it would have taken approximately three to four months to complete.

This a wonder of archaeological preservation - the only other examples are from the tomb of Tutankhamun. The cartouche of King Rameses III and the 2nd year date of his reign were inscribed in ink at one end, but have now deteriorated.

Presented to the museum in 1867 by Joseph Mayer (previously in the collection of Rev. Stobart).