Conférence d’Elsa Yvanez (21 mars 2024 – 15h)

Nouveau cycle de conférences en mode hybride proposé par la Section Française de la Direction des Antiquités du Soudan



The sensory archaeology of garments
New approaches to the body in ancient Sudan and Nubia

by Elsa Yvanez

Langue : anglais

Thanks to the arid climate of the Nile’s desert fringes, archaeologists working in Egypt and Sudan are often faced with large quantities of preserved organic remains, including textile and animal skin artefacts. In Sudan, more than a century of excavations has provided us with thousands of examples of garments, mainly found reused in the grave as body wrappings. Combined with iconography, this material can give us a precious insight on past dress practices and their economic and socio-cultural importance.

This is the general premise of the Fashioning Sudan project (ERC StG 101039416), started in 2022 at the University of Copenhagen, with the support of the Sudanese National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums and the Section Française de la Direction des Antiquités du Soudan. The project studies garments made of textile and animal skin, dated from the A-Group (c. 3000 BCE) to the Medieval period (c. 1500 CE). This long time frame allows us to track changes in the use of raw material, craft techniques, and garment types, as well as observe the shifting of dress practices and their significance.

On the re-opening of the SFDAS in the premises of the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale in Cairo, this conference aims at highlighting the rich potential of textile and animal skin artefact to study past identities. After presenting the project’s main research lines, we will explore the different sensory dimensions of garments. Sudanese archaeology has traditionally focused on large scale studies – centered on a full site or region – and often documenting royal or temple contexts. Instead, our approach is resolutely centered on the daily experiences of the individual. By observing the sensory qualities of fibres, skins, and garments, we can ask different questions about the body: What were the visual, thermic, haptic and auditory characteristics of garments? How did it feel to cover the body with a specific garment? How did the covered areas relate to the areas of the body left exposed? How did garments affect the movements of the wearer? We invite the audience to explore these different themes with us, taking many examples of preserved archaeological garments as our starting point.

Elsa Yvanez

Associate professor of archaeology, Centre for Textile Research, Saxo institute, School of Archaeology, University of Copenhagen

Elsa Yvanez is an archaeologist specialised in the textile production of ancient Sudan and Nubia, in the chaine opératoire and economic significance of spinning and weaving, as well as in the use of textiles for clothing and burial. She is currently employed at the Centre for Textile Research/Saxo institute, at the University of Copenhagen, where she is teaching textile archaeology and conducting the 5-year research project Fashioning Sudan. Archaeology of dress practices along the Middle Nile (ERC StG101039416). In parallel, she is also acting as a textile specialist for several excavation teams working in Egypt.


Lieu : IFAO, Égypte

Cette conférence est ouverte au public et à distance en direct sur la chaîne YouTube de l’Ifao.

Lecture isopen to the public in person and for remote attendance live on  the YouTube channel of the Ifao.

Date : 21 mars 2024, à 14.00 (Caire)


Citer ce billet
sfdas (2024, 7 mars). Conférence d’Elsa Yvanez (21 mars 2024 – 15h). SFDAS Khartoum. Consulté le 17 juin 2024, à l’adresse

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2 réponses

  1. Çiğdem Maner dit :

    I am Associate Professor at Koç University Istanbul and I would like to receive your announcements,
    and zoom linke for conferences

    thank you

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