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Title: Dating Coptic Footwear
Subtitle: A Typological and Comparative Approach
Author(s): SMALLEY, Ruiha
Journal: Journal of Coptic Studies
Volume: 14    Date: 2012   
Pages: 97-135
DOI: 10.2143/JCS.14.0.2184690

Abstract :
A study was undertaken of the Coptic footwear held at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Museum records give little detail on the provenance of the collection and excavation methods left no information so dating the objects is problematic. The study focuses on the potential for shoe construction, decorative techniques and comparative material to aid in developing a chronology for the footwear of the period. Typologies were developed for constructional and decorative aspects of the footwear and comparative material was examined for clues that might aid dating. Results were limited. Although dating in broad ranges is possible, more detail on the first appearance of footwear constructional elements is needed to strengthen decisions based on style. The use of a variety of decorative elements does not assist in narrowing date ranges but can offer a terminus post quem date in some cases. To improve the chronology of the period a study of comparative footwear from neighbouring countries is recommended, along with the study of well documented material from recent excavations and the application of scientific methods of dating.

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