The authors main aim in this study is to look at how and within what framework the elements of costume from Ottoman period burials in Hungary have been treated by previous research, and to suggest some new directions of interpretation. The information on the ethnic and geographical origins of the population interred in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century cemeteries in Hungary, as provided by historical sources, has determined the questions formulated within previous archaeological scholarshA: the analysis of burial customs and finds, mostly remains of clothing, has focused on an ethnic interpretation. This study has two main aims. First, to look for factors other than ethnicity which could contribute to the formation of clothing and of the way it appears in the archaeological record, taking a closer look at the archaeological and various aspects of the social and cultural context of certain objects. Second, to see how historical archaeology can modify our understanding of clothing in the past: the way it was treated by contemporary peoples, and the social and cultural structures that produced it.