Monday, May 4, 2009
Scientists have reported finding what they say is the oldest piece of cloth ever discovered. It is believed to be about 9,000 years old. That is at least 500 years older than any other ancient cloth found. The cloth was found in southern Turkey near the area where the Tigris River rises. The piece of cloth is about one-and-half inches wide and three inches long. It was wrapped around the bottom of a tool made from an animal horn. Calcium from the horn hardened the cloth. That was what helped keep the material in good condition for so many years. Scientists say the material provides valuable information about the development of early civilization. Weaving cloth is one of the most important inventions of early humans. Scientists say 9,000-year-old piece of cloth gives a clearer picture about the period when humans changed. Researchers believe that making cloth is a skill that could develop only when societies became agricultural. The piece of material found at Cayonu was made from part of the flaxplant. Therefore, scientists believe that people in the area knew how to grow flax.