Tabula (Square) with the Head of Spring

Object Name: Square

Date: 5th–7th century

Geography: Attributed to Egypt, Akhmim (former Panopolis)

Medium: Linen, wool

Dimensions: Textile: H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)
W. 9 13/16 in. (25 cm)
Mount: H. 15 5/8 in. (39.7 cm)
W. 15 5/8 in. (39.7 cm)
D. 1 3/8 in. (3.5 cm)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Gift of George F. Baker, 1890

Accession Number: 90.5.848


This small tapestry panel comes from Egypt. It was originally used as an appliqué on a larger textile, probably as part of a set. Egypt had a major weaving (especially linen) industry throughout the ancient and medieval period, which brought the country a great deal of its trade and wealth. Unlike the textiles of other cultures, many of these pieces have been preserved by Egypt's hot, dry climate, which prevents rotting.
Personifications of the seasons were thought to represent prosperity. The pink blossoms suggest that this figure is Spring.