This band of tapestry weave features hunter iconography, a popular textile design in Egypt during the late Roman (third-fourth century C.E.) and Byzantine (fourth-sixth century C.E.) periods. Hunter motifs were popular for funerary use because, in the triumph over his prey, the hunter suggested that its wearer would similarly triumph over death. Hunter imagery could have talismanic value, serving to protect against evil and ensure life after death. An inscription on this textile reinforces this idea – the writing, some of which is illegible, includes the phrase “Long Live.” Another inscribed hunter tapestry, currently in the Victoria and Albert Museum, identifies its rider by name, “Alexander,” which has led scholars to surmise that presently illegible inscriptions on hunter textiles might have originally served to identify their riders. The caption on this textile, however, shows that inscriptions on hunter textiles could also reinforce the imagery’s apotropaic meaning.

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