HUMANPAST.NET

Clothing                  4,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

Africa

 

Southwest Asia

 ...textile weaving appeared first in Mesopotamia, around 3800 BC. So highly prized were the garments of Shinar (Sumer), that people were willing to risk their lives to obtain them. (146)

Egypt

 The chief Egyptian sites of the basal stratum are on the left bank of the Nile, at Merimde, in the Delta region, and at Fayum, somewhat farther south, as well as on the right bank, about two hundred miles up the river, at Tasa. The assemblages differ slightly among themselves but in their culture level are about equivalent, the characteristic features being a rough black pottery; excellent basketry; spindle whorls for the fashioning of linen; palettes for cosmetics; burial in a contracted posture (at Tasa) or as in sleep, facing east (Merimde) ; bone, ivory, and (at Fayum) ostrich-shell beads; boar's-tusk and tiny stone-ax (celt) amulets (at Merimde); wheat stored in silos; and a barnyard stock of swine, cattle, sheep, and goats. C-14 dates for Fayum range c. 444O-c. 4100 BC. (128)

Indus Valley

 The use of cotton for textiles was exclusively restricted at this period to India and was not extended to the Western world until two or three thousand years later. (135)

China

 

Europe

 

South America

 The domestication of cotton between about 4000 BC and 1200 BC provided a relatively cheap source of textiles, and cotton textiles were complemented by a highly developed weaving craft in which reeds and other grasses were woven into sandals, clothes, and many other products. Using mineral and plant-derived dyes, ancient Andeans decorated many of their textiles with a wide variety of motifs, including geometric figures and stylized people and animals. (52)

Carbon dating gives a figure of 3600 BC to the first known traces of South American cotton growing. Cotton is a crop, as we have seen, which presumes a more elaborate technology behind it, for cleaning it and spinning it, than for the cultivation of food crops. The only area in the Old world in which cotton was being grown at this time was the Indus Valley. And the chromosomes of early Peruvian cotton have been examined to prove that the cotton used was a hybrid between New World cotton and Old World cotton. From this alone, the only reasonable conclusion is that immigrants from the Old World, who were agriculturists, had taken cotton with them to Peru. (135)

Mesoamerica

 

North America

 Between 9,000 and 2,500 years ago Desert West cultures worked out a marvelous array of subsistence technologies and strategies, and the aridity of the environment has preserved artifacts so well that we can reconstruct their way of life in considerable detail. Scraps of fur clothing have been found, as well as moccasins and woven sandals.(26)

Other