The Oldest trousers in the world

Discovery of oldest known trousers in the world

(Read the article on one page)

In 2014, a team of archaeologists excavating tombs in western China uncovered the remains of two nomadic herders and a 3,000-year-old pair of trousers with woven patterns, which are the oldest known pair ever discovered, according to a report in Science News . The finding gives support to the theory that the transition from tunics to trousers was a practical development for horse-riders of the time. 

It is not known when humans first began making clothing due to the fast deterioration of fabrics and materials, but estimates range between 100,000 and 500,000 years ago.  The first clothes were made from animal skins and furs, grasses, leaves, bones, and shells. Clothing was often draped or tied however, simple needles made out of animal bone provide evidence of sewn leather and fur garments from at least 40,000 years ago. When settled Neolithic cultures discovered the advantages of woven fibres, the making of cloth emerged as one of humankind's fundamental technologies. The earliest dyed fibres have been found in a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia and date back to 36,000 BC.

The first clothing made from woven fabrics, in both Europe and Asia, included simple tunics, robes, togas, wraps, and tied cloths. But at some point, this progressed to more sophisticated garments, which included trousers. Researchers have been eager to find out when and why this development occurred and the latest finding has helped to shed light on these questions.

Painted Egyptian Tunic

Painted Egyptian Tunic, c 3275-years-old. Image source .

The ancient trousers, which are made of wool, have straight-fitting legs, a wide crotch, and decorative designs on the legs. The trousers were sewn together from three pieces of brown-coloured wool cloth, one piece for each leg and an insert for the crotch. The tailoring involved no cutting – the pant sections were shaped on a loom in the final size. Finished pants included side slits, and strings for fastening at the waist.

The team led by archaeologists Ulrike Beck and Mayke Wagner of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, called the ancient invention of trousers "a ground-breaking achievement in the history of cloth making." 

The discovery was made within tombs in the Yanghai graveyard in China’s Tarim Basin, where dry climate and hot summers helped preserve human corpses, clothing and other organic material. It is most famous for the Tarim mummies , a set of very well-preserved mummies with distinctly Caucasian features.

Within the tomb, archaeologists found the remains of two middle-aged men, a decorated leather bridle, a wooden horse bit, a battle-axe, a leather bracer for arm protection, whip, decorated horse tail, bow sheath, and bow.  The grave goods suggest that the men were both warriors and herders, and supports previous research which has suggested that nomadic herders invented trousers to provide bodily protection and freedom of movement for horseback journeys and mounted warfare.

"This new paper definitely supports the idea that trousers were invented for horse riding by mobile pastoralists, and that trousers were brought to the Tarim Basin by horse-riding peoples," said linguist and China authority Victor Mair of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mair suspects that horse riding began among the nomadic herders about 3,400 years ago and trouser-making came shortly thereafter in wetter regions to the north and west of the Tarim Basin.

By April Holloway

Comments

angieblackmon's picture

they look cool! i mean they kinda even look like they have a fly and pockets!! 

love, light and blessings

AB

rbflooringinstall's picture

I'd wear them.

Peace and Love,

Ricky.

the same symbols can be found in Cucuteni culture...5000 years ago!

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?
This passage may read like a passage from the Old Testament of the Bible; but, this is a quote from the Hymn of Aten, a work by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV better known as Akhenaton. This so-called heretic king was the only known Pharaoh in Egyptian history who believed in a monotheistic doctrine when most of the ancient world adhered to polytheism.

Ancient Technology

Left side view of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan.
Teotihuacan’s Lost Kings, a television special, took an hour long look at the great city, its inhabitants, and the excavation of the Temple of Quetzalcoatl, (also known as the Feathered Serpent Pyramid.) The program revealed evidence of advanced engineering built into a tunnel system, and placed directly underneath the Pyramid.

Ancient Places

Entrance from above to the Loltun Cave complex
On the 3rd of January 1931, an article appeared in the Modesto News-Herald entitled ‘Mystery of the Loltun Cave hermit’. The article recounted the encounter between a man by the name of Robert Stacy-Judd and an old Mayan hermit, when the former got lost whilst exploring the Loltun Cave with several native guides.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article