Saturday, September 12, 2009

NEW Oldest Fabric Ever Found!

We just keep moving the date back a couple of thousand years at a time, right? The previous oldest fabric was 28,000 years old and found in the Czech Republic. (article here)

The new and current title holder goes back 34,000 years. Found in the Republic of Georgia, this material is flax, and it's twisted and dyed. It may be pushing it a bit to call it cloth, but it is a textile. Here's an article in Science Daily, and there are some microscopic photos of the strands attached.

It seems only yesterday that I wrote an article for a still-unpublished Encyclopedia of Invention which claimed that the oldest woven material was found in Turkey, and dated to about 20,000 years ago. The bit of cloth was wrapped around an antler and had fossilized. No one imagined that any fabric older could have survived. (NY Times article)

Sigh. Actually, it was 3 or 4 years ago that I wrote about that--that's how fast discoveries are being made.

The reason I decided to study history was that my previous field--computer networks--changed so fast and I got tired of having to learn a new operating system every other year. I figured what I learned in history would be subject to changing opinions, but that the stark facts and evidence would remain the same.

Silly me.

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