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Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
Archaeology provides important evidence for ancient Greek dress, which was essential to the construction of social identities. Although no complete garments survive, preserved fragments of silk and embroideries indicate the elite status of the wearer. Jewelry, dress fasteners, toilet implements, perfume vessels, cosmetics, and mirrors are also important indicators of status and gender. The visual sources, including sculpture and vase-painting, depict men and women performing various dress practices. Although some practices, such as bathing and the use of perfumes, are common to both genders, others are specific to either men or women. The visual sources demonstrate other aspects of identity: age and social role are often indicated by hairstyle, whereas ethnicity is also conveyed by means of garments and body-modifications. Although dress is often considered a mundane aspect of culture, I argue that dress provides unique insight into ancient Greek ideologies.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
Mireille M. Lee, Body, Dress, and Identity in Ancient Greece (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
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