The remains of two men dressed in wool pants were recovered from the Yanghai graveyard in China’s Tarim Basin by researchers with the German Archaeological Institute. Dating back from 3,300 to 3,000 years ago, the trousers are said to be oldest known example of such apparel, brought to the region by nomadic horse-riders.
Science News reports:
With straight-fitting legs and a wide crotch, the ancient wool trousers resemble modern riding pants, says a team led by archaeologists Ulrike Beck and Mayke Wagner of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. The discoveries, uncovered in the Yanghai graveyard in China’s Tarim Basin, support previous work suggesting that nomadic herders in Central Asia invented pants to provide bodily protection and freedom of movement for horseback journeys and mounted warfare, the scientists report May 22 in Quaternary International.
“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,” remarks linguist and China authority Victor Mair of the University of Pennsylvania.
Remains from Europe and Asia have previously been found wearing gowns, robes, tunics, togas or a combination of loincloth and individual leggings. Other examples of trousers have been found in Tarim Basin sites dating back some 2,600 years.
The particular sets of pants were sewn together from three pieces of wool cloth and pant sections that were were shaped on a loom for specific size, so the tailoring involved no cutting. The pants featured side slits, strings to fasten the waist and woven designs on the legs.
Expect to see similar designs being sported by 15-year-olds raving at an outdoor music festival near you.
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