Mesopotamia - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Between 3000 B.C.E. and 300 B.C.E.

Mesopotamian Clothing - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

The civilizations that developed in Mesopotamia near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers between 3000 and 300 B.C.E. developed impressive skills for fashioning clothing.

Fringe - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Across all the civilizations living in Mesopotamia (the region centered in present-day Iraq near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) from 3000 to 300 B.C.E., fringe was a popular and important decorative adornment for the clothing of both men and women. It is believed that fringe was worn by all classes of people.

Shawl - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

For the men and women living in Mesopotamia (the region centered in present-day Iraq near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers) from 3000 to 300 B.C.E., a fringed shawl was a typical garment. Unlike modern-day shawls that are worn over the shoulders and head, the shawls of Mesopotamia were wrapped around the hips like long skirts or wrapped around the torso with one end tossed over the left shoulder, covering the body to the feet like a dress.

Mesopotamian Headwear - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Men and women adorned their heads in very different ways in Mesopotamia, situated in the region centered in modern-day Iraq near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers between 3000 and 300 B.C.E. In the early years of civilization there, most men shaved their heads bald while women braided their long hair into elaborate styles pinned to the top of their heads.

Turbans - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Aturban—or hat made of elaborately wrapped, finely woven fabric—adorned the heads of women as early as the Sumerian civilization, which began in 3000 B.C.E. The Sumerians lived in the fertile valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in modern-day Iraq.

Veils - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

In Mesopotamia, the region centered in present-day Iraq near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, a veil was a rectangular piece of cloth woven of linen, wool, or cotton and worn by women to hide their faces from public view. While the veils worn by the wealthiest women could be beautiful, veils were not worn for fashionable reasons alone.

Mesopotamian Body Decorations - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

Many different ethnic groups lived in Mesopotamia, the region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in present-day Iraq, between 3000 B.C.E. and 300 B.C.E.

Mesopotamian Footwear - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

As civilizations developed in Mesopotamia between 3000 and 300 B.C.E., foot coverings became more important. From the earliest times to about 911 B.C.E., the available evidence indicates that the people who lived in Mesopotamia, the region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in present-day Iraq, went without any footwear at all.

Sandals - Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages

While the men living in the Sumerian (3000–2000 B.C.E.), the Akkadian (2350–2218 B.C.E.), and the Babylonian (1894–1595 B.C.E.) empires of Mesopotamia, the region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in present-day Iraq, went barefoot all the time, Assyrian men began to wear sandals for everyday use around 911 B.C.E. Showing these changes are sculptures and bas-reliefs, or wall carvings, from the time period depicting men with foot coverings.

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