Fashion! Turn to the left
Fashion! Turn to the right
– David Bowie
Perhaps the first action Adam and Eve took when trounced out of Eden was to cover themselves with leaves. Or, upon growing arms and legs, living matter decided pants and a snazzy shirt would come in handy. Whatever history you elect to believe, clothing has been a part of it all. Zoot suits, uniforms, baseball caps, and (yes, admit it) sagging pants are as important to history as the people who wore them.
Here is a collection of items dating as far back as the Stone Age. These are the oldest known existing pieces of clothing on earth. Worn together, you will be in fashion for almost every time period that we have inhabited the planet.
The Tarkhan dress from 2800 BCE
The Tarkhan dress is the world’s oldest item of clothing, dating to Dynasty 1 (c. 2800 BC). Petrie discovered it in a tomb during a 1913 excavation. The dress was among a pile of linen finally sorted and cleaned in 1977 by the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Textile Conservation Workshop. “Tarkhan” is the name given to an Ancient Egyptian cemetery located south of Cairo, Egypt. The Tarkhan dress in on exhibit at the Petrie Museum in London. MORE INFORMATION HERE
“Breastbag” worn A.D. 1400
The word “bra” came into use during the early 20th Century, but this bra dates back to between A.D. 1390 and 1485 making it a “breastbag.” It was discovered during restoration work at Lengberg Castle in Austria along with other items: leather, shoes, textiles, and rope. It was one of four linen bras decorated with lace. At the time they were worn they were called “breastbags.” MORE INFORMATION HERE
Trousers 3,300 years old
An excavation team from the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin made this discovery. They were excavating the Yanghai graveyard in China’s Tarim Basin when they located the “oldest known examples of innovative apparel.” The pants belonged to nomadic herders and date between 3,300 and 3,000 years ago. The climate preserved both the pants and the remains of the man who wore them. MORE INFORMATION HERE
The Areni-1 shoe from 3,500 B.C.
An Armenian post-graduate student found this 5,500-year-old shoe in 2008 during the Areni-1 cave excavation in the Vayots Dzor province of Armenia. The single shoe is in near-perfect condition due to the cave conditions and a seal of sheep dung. It is the oldest known shoe in the world, dating back to 3,500 B.C. It is displayed at the History Museum of Armenia. MORE INFORMATION HERE
Purse from 2,500 B.C.
An excavation near Leipzig, Germany revealed what archaeologists believe is the world’s oldest known purse. The material has eroded away, but the decor of the purse remains: over a hundred teeth arranged close together. The purse was located in a grave dating to between 2,500 and 2,200 B.C. Dog’s teeth were popular ornaments during the Stone Age. MORE INFORMATION HERE