Clothing was hardly a practical necessity in North Africa and what is today the Middle East. Often a luxury item in these warm, humid climates, it became more essential as people's lives improved socially and economically. But even then, the drapery was light and tended to accent the body's shape rather than conceal it. The first part of this profusely illustrated and scrupulously researched text examines the evolution in apparel worn by Egyptian royalty, priests, musicians, manual workers, the military, and foreigners (as depicted by Egyptian artists). Two additional sections consider clothing worn in ancient Mesopotamia and Persia, focusing largely on Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian styles. Over 250 illustrations, drawn in the artistic style of the period, are accompanied by flat patterns showing the cut of the garment, thus enabling today's costumers to accurately reconstruct this apparel. A comprehensive archive that will not only be of immense value to fashion historians and students of costume design, this volume will also fascinate anyone interested in the development of artistic representation.