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Department of Archaeology



Anne Kwaspen, former director of the Belgian Fashion Museum in Hasselt and curator of the Egyptian textile collection of the Phoebus Foundation in Antwerp, is specialised in costume history, archaeological textile research and technical analysis of textile structures.

In her doctoral thesis, Anne studied the different types of tunics worn in Egypt in the early Medieval period. Her Marie S. Curie Fellowship project TUNICS at the Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen, focused on the expression of cultural cross-fertilisation in Egyptian clothing of the 7th-10th centuries AD. As member of the BYU excavation team, Anne gained fieldwork experience studying the textile finds from the Fag el-Gamus cemetery in the Fayum, Egypt.

Anne has recently joined the McDonald Institute as a research associate on the ERC-funded REVERSEACTION project, where she will investigate how luxury was manifested in textiles in the stateless societies of pre-Hispanic Colombia.


Archaeological textile research is a very diverse field, given the multitude and variety of textile objects and research perspectives.  With a background in textile art, textile conservation, fashion and collections research in museum contexts, I have focused on object-based research of mainly archaeological garment finds. Based on technical analysis of textile structures and garment construction, as well as the study of materials and tools, I aim to identify the chaîne-operatoire of textiles and the socio-cultural markers contained in each garment. 

Within the REVERSEACTION project, the documentation and technological analysis of archaeological textiles and associated textile tools from the Muisca and Nariño regions in Colombia will be the main research focus.

Key Publications

Key publications: 

Kwaspen A., Nubian Textile features: wool fragments from Hisn al-Bab and a tunic from Fag el-Gamus (Fayum), In: Archaeological Textiles Review 63. Copenhagen 2021. 

Kwaspen A., South K., Sprang hairnets from the necropolis of Fag el-Gamus in the Fayum, Egypt, In: Pritchard F. (ed.) Crafting textiles: tablet weaving, sprang, lace and other techniques from the Bronze Age to the early 17th century, Oxford 2021

Kwaspen A., South K., Textile finds from burial 2003-NW-39 of the Fag el-Gamus necropolis, In: Explorers, First Collectors, and Traders of Textiles from Egypt of the 1st millennium AD, Bruges 2021

South K., Kwaspen A., The tunics of Fag el-Gamus. A survey of types, In: Proceedings of Purpureae Vestes VII. Redefining Textile handcraft structures, tools and production processes. Granada 2021

Kwaspen A., Reconstruction of a deconstructed tunic , In: Mossakowska M. (ed.) Egyptian Textiles and their production: “word” and “object”, Zeabooks online 2020

Kwaspen A., A sleeveless adult tunic of the early Medieval period in Egypt from the Allard Pierson Museum and parallels, In: Egypt as a textile hub. Textile interrelationships in the 1st millennium AD, Tielt 2019

Kwaspen A., Different finishing techniques of neck slits on Late Antique Tunics from Egypt, In: Excavating, analyzing, reconstructing. Textiles of the 1st millennium AD from Egypt and neighbouring countries, Tielt 2017

Kwaspen A., Verhecken-Lammens C., Measurements and fitting of Egyptian Children’s Tunics of the 1st millennium AD, In: Textiles, tools and techniques of the 1st millennium AD from Egypt and neighbouring countries, Tielt 2015

Kwaspen A., Features and analysis of Sprang Hairnets, In: Tiarae, diadems and headdresses in the Ancient Mediterranean cultures: Symbolism and technology, Valencia 2014

Kwaspen A., De Moor A., The pattern-cutting of linen trousers in Late Antiquity, In: Drawing the threads together. Textiles and footwear of the 1st millennium AD from Egypt, Tielt 2013

Kwaspen A., Sprang hairnets in the Katoen Natie Collection, In: Dress accessories of the 1st millennium AD from Egypt, Tielt 2011

Other Professional Activities

Textile conservator specialised in costume conservation

Job Titles

Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

General Info

Not available for consultancy
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Museum Studies
Material Culture
Artefact Analysis & Technology

Contact Details

ak2503 [a]
McDonald Institute
Downing Street


Person keywords: 
Archaeological textiles
Textile structures
Textile analysis
Pre-Hispanic Colombia
Material Culture
Geographical areas: 
Egypt and Sudan
Periods of interest: 
Classical - Roman