A fragment of silk textile excavated from Essouk-Tadmekka. Institut des sciences humaines, Mali. Photograph by Clare Britt

The distinctive damask weave of a small piece of silk, excavated at Tadmekka, proves that it was made by Chinese artisans, though the chain-stitch embroidery in red cotton that runs across it was likely added in Tadmekka as further embellishment to a luxury garment.