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Tribe of four ancient humans wearing animal skin.  Source: Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock

When Did Humans Stop Being Naked? (Video)

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The origins of clothing are shrouded in the challenges of preservation, yet traces of ancient textiles provide glimpses into our sartorial past. In 1913, during an Egyptian excavation, William Matthews Flinders Petrie unearthed the Tarkhan Dress, dating back 5,500 years — the oldest known garment.

Fragments from Turkey's Çatalhöyük site reveal even older woven textiles, possibly 8,500 years old.

Delving into Dzudzuana Cave in Georgia, archaeologists discovered dyed flax fibers dating back 30,000 years, suggesting a prehistoric textile industry. The quest for evidence extends beyond fabrics to tools. In South Africa's Sibudu Cave, a delicate needle, estimated at 61,000 years old, signifies early garment production.

However, the emergence of clothing is also deciphered through an unconventional source — lice. By analyzing DNA from head and body lice, scientists approximate clothing usage as early as 170,000 years ago.

While the evidence hints at Homo sapiens donning attire, questions persist about Neanderthals. Stone scrapers hint at their use of animal hides, possibly for draped clothing. The search for the naked truth continues, as researchers explore diverse avenues to unravel the ancient tale of clothing.

Top image: Tribe of four ancient humans wearing animal skin.  Source: Gorodenkoff/Adobe Stock    

By Robbie Mitchell



riparianfrstlvr's picture

i know the exact day we started wearing clothes. the day we climbed down out of the trees, stopped fling feces at each other, and started throwing spears. the first man or woman that ran from a spear, through a wild rose bush or equivalent. nads or snatch...ouch!


Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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