In addition to papyri, these excavations yielded other objects such as coins, textiles, hairpins, and metal tools that have been given almost no attention. Included among these "lesser" finds were two socks made of wool, now housed in the British Museum:
Sock no. 2 above is a child's left-foot sock, and the obvious distinction from sock no. 1 is that it is made of 6-7 different colors. Like sock no. 1, this sock separates the big toe from the other four and is made of wool. This one is a little more intricate in design (click to enlarge). It has been radiocarbon dated to 200-400 CE.
So, did the ancient Egyptians wear socks? Of course they did. Simple objects like these two socks give us a glimpse into how ancient people lived their lives. And while Johnson and others were apparently not very interested in these "minor" finds, they are now being studied as part of a collaborative project called Antinoupolis at the British Museum, which is being led by Elisabeth R. O'Connell, Assistant Keeper (Curator) in the Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan with responsibility for Roman and Late Antique collections. This project will make available unpublished objects from Johnson's 1913-1914 excavations, as well as Johnson's unpublished excavation documentation. So, be on the lookout for more textiles, shoes, lamps, coins, figures, and—my favourite—a wooden clapper!