In the early 1970s, at Yanghai cemetery near Turfan, China, a group of Chinese archaeologists was met a man. The man, however, did not say a word, nor did he move a muscle. He was already dead, after all. But what told his story are the things found in his grave — a leather bridle, wooden horse bit, and a battle axe, which suggested that he was a horse-riding warrior. But what stood out from the man was not the artifacts in his grave, but his outfit, specifically his very fashionable pants. Archaeologists now recognize Turfan Man's trousers as the oldest known trousers in the world.
Archaeologists, fashion designers, geoscientists, chemists, and conservators, took an interest in this pair of pants. Together, they investigated how these durable trousers were made, and made a modern replica of the article in question. These were not just trousers, mind you. These trousers were a celebration of various cultures, traditions, and techniques, as evidenced by the weaving patterns found in them.
There is a mystery, however: how did the ancient clothes makers make these? Archaeologists are unsure.
(Images: M. Wagner/ Archaeological Research in Asia 2022)
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