Sunday, January 22, 2023

My Kind Of Archeological Discovery


No bones, no skulls, no skeletons, no pottery, but silk and cotton. A few hundred pieces of exotic textile from 1300 years ago, has been found recently in a lovely place - in the israeli desert  (northern Negev) near Nahal Omer ('nahal' means river). The luxury fabrics were originally from China, India, and Sudan and meant to reach European places.

piece of fabric*

The first find in this area (considered part of the Silk road - a network of Eurasian trade routes) - came in 2018, but there was no money to start a serious excavation. Finally it became a joint project of israeli and german archeologists, and the funds were provided by the germans.

Earlier, in 2017 (during an excavation that was going on since 2013), 3000 years old purple wool fragments from king David's era,  dyed in royal purple (argaman, in hebrew), symbol of high social status , and probably first evidence of chemical dye in the area, was found in the valley of Timna, place in the desert known as an ancient copper mine.

The dry desert climate was probably the reason for the good preservation of textiles digged up in the above excavations. 

The findings have a great historical and archeological significance as they help understand the techniques of textile development in those times. Moreover, they add information regarding transfer of goods between East and West.

A bit of trivia - cotton is the most comfortable of fabrics (softness, breathability, weightlessness); silk is the strongest natural fabric in the world. Ahmadabad is considered Manchester of India for its being the center of textile industry.

* web picture


58 comments:

  1. Bom domingo de muita paz e saúde. Descoberta arqueológica muito interessante minha querida amiga Duta.

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    1. I think so too, Christine. In fact, archeology is one of the most interesting topics!

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  3. Wow, that fabric is a great find!

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    1. I understand that the fabrics imported from the East for Europe, were of luxury quality, and the pieces found confirmed that.

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  4. I love to read about history and what they found from years ago. Gives you a little peace of history.

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    1. Reading about things from the past is definitely interesting, and intriguing. It sure enriches our horizons.

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  5. So great to hear about textiles. To some it's a dying art, but there is so much creativity in the process of these fabrics and to learn from. So great to read your post!

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  6. We all like textiles, and there is so much to know about the subject: production, quality, coloring, import-export, you name it.

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  7. I'm very interested in where these pieces were found. Yes, the desert climate definitely helps with textile preservation.

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    1. The textile pieces were found in northern and central parts of the israeli desert. The dry, desert climate kept them in good condition, and the excavators will have no problems in examining them and drawing conclusions which will next be published.

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  8. It's so interesting to hear about these historical finds. It kind of brings history alive.

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    1. Right. I was excited to read about it, especially as I am a great lover of cotton, especially the one coming from India.

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  9. I knew that the color purple was meant for royalty nut did not know it was that old. Thanks for telling us about this. I so love history! Janice

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    1. The purple wool found in the Timna valley dated back to biblical times, to King David's era. You're welcome, Janice.

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  10. I used to lecture about the silk route a lot, in the 1990s. Not just because silk is my absolute favourite material for clothing - which it always was and always will be. But because the finest cultures, architecture, art, literature and philosophy all came from Asia and moved across to the Middle East and then Eastern Europe via the silk route. Europeans had always thought that we had to spread culture to those poor primitives on the other side of the world! My students were amazed, and thrilled.

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    1. Almost all my summer clothes are made of indian cotton. I also like kitchen items produced in India. There was a time I looked for indian furniture pieces, but the price put me off. In short, I always look for the India made label, or its neighbors' label.

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  11. Incredible findings. I will look for more articles about them.
    Thanks. :)

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    1. You do that, Catarina. I'm sure there have been some more excavations in the desert with interesting findings, and fascinating articles about them.

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  12. What an incredible find! One can let the imagination go and think about the time when it was a new piece of cloth. Then again, how can one even imagine such a time. It is a wonder for sure.

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    1. Credibility and imagination play together here to make something really wonderful.

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  13. Wow.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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    1. Yes, 'wow' is the right word here as it is a reaction to something surprising, pleasing, even impressive.

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  14. Your posts are fascinating. This discovery is an amazing and historical discovery.

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    1. Thanks Linda for your kind words.They had the money and the enthusiam and did a good job.

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  15. What a beautiful and interesting find. I love textiles, handling them and working with them. I'm currently stitching a Japanese rice bag with linen and cotton. Natural fibres are so comfortable to wear.

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    1. I'm sure yout rice bag will be a success, Lorrie. Natural fibres are ideal to wear and to work with.

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  16. I had no idea that silk was that strong and would last so long. That is a very interesting post. After all those years it is quite something to still find new places to excavate and be successful. I wonder how much more will we find in the years to come. There is so much to learn still.

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    1. Excavations take time, money and planning. The results are worth the efforts. The desert, I believe, is going to offer more surprises in the future.

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  17. Very interesting, DUTA...thanks. Take care. :)

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  18. PS That was from me, Shayndel! I hadn`t realized until after that it was coming up as `anonymous`.

    Blessings and a good week to you Duta, may there be many more exciting discoveries found in Israel as we all are making our way back to the Promised Land!! Keep sharing the updates from there of inspiring findings!!

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    1. I don't know what's with this 'anonymous' thing. Perhaps Blogger's done something.
      Thanks for the blessings. Sending some your way.

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  19. that is a wonderful discovery/investigation, I would love to know how purple dye was made in King David's biblical times! it must have been a very expensive/labour intensive process as the colour was reserved for royalty - I hope more research becomes available soon.

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    1. I don't know about the purple dying process. I suppose we could find some info by googling. It sounds very interesting.

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  20. This is just fascinating to me. Yes, I'd prefer this archaeological find to old bones! How intriguing to get first hand what kinds of things they had to work with then in the fabric line.

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    1. This kind of discovery teaches us so much on things that are of daily importance to us like climate, fabrics, trade exchange between East and West!

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  21. What an interesting find. Amazing that the fabric and its colours have been well preserved.

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    1. As I've mentioned previously, it's the dry desert climate that enables good preservation.

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  22. We had almost the same here last week, not with fabric but with bones and skulls. Somebody discovered them in the attic of a very old farm, and it turned out they belong to soldiers from the battle of Waterloo in 1850 ! Now they are analyzed how old they were, how they died etc. Of course fabric is more romantic. But anyway it's interesting to learn about the past.

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    1. How exciting and interesting! remains of soldiers from the famous battle of Waterloo!
      My brief visit in Waterloo, many years ago, made a big impression on me.

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  23. Me encanta la arqueología, y esta noticia que recibo en primicia por ti, me parece uno de los mejores hallazgos de los últimos años, ya que abre una nueva línea de investigación, hasta hoy poco tratada, y que nos va a enseñar mucho sobre la elaboración textil de nuestros antepasados.
    Gracias, y un cordial saludo, amiga Duta.

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  24. Indeed, this is a rather new line of research - that of textiles - The usual excavations were of ruins, pottery, human remains.
    Thanks Manuel for your comment. Wishing you the very Best!

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  25. It is always very interesting to read/see about these finds, many thanks for sharing it here :)

    All the best Jan

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    1. It sure is. You're welcome, Jan. Al the best to you, yoo.

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  26. You make me happy with this, Duta. I am currently researching materials (especially wool), paint, plant dye. Out the Middle Ages for my new book. I am searching for: how did they get those beautiful blue, purple, red colors? What did they use? So I love your blog

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  27. Oh ,my! Wishing you success with your book! Sounds like quite a project!

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  28. Boa tarde de quinta-feira, minha querida amiga Duta.

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  29. it's always interesting to see what will be found next.

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  30. Boa noite e bom final de semana.
    Minha querida amiga Duta. Espero que os responsáveis sobre essas mortes na sinagoga hoje, sejam responsabilizados.

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  31. The responsible for the 7deaths has been shot.
    Terribly tragic evening!

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    1. Duta, I am sorry to hear what has happened in your country. God help us. You have my deepest condolences.

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  32. All those years ago would the weaver ever have imagined who would see her work today?

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    1. Well, I believe she hasn't given it the slightest thought. She was deep in her work.

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