September 20, 2016

The Oldest Indigo-dyed Fabric Found in Peru

The oldest indigo-dyed fabric ever found has been uncovered in Peru, 6,200 years older than the oldest blu-dyed fabric found in Egypt. Study researcher Jeffrey Splitstoser, an archaeologist and textile expert at George Washington University, explained the finding that was excavated by Tom Dillehay and Duccio Bonavia between 2007 and 2008 from a prehistoric site called Huaca Prieta, on coastal Peru. (Jeffrey is on the Board of the great Pre-Columbian Society of Washington DC). The temple at the site was a mixture of ash, shells and sand, and continually renovated over the centuries. The fabric scraps were found in bundles lining the ramp that led to the top of the temple. They all date to 2000-4200 BCE. Splitsoser had a British chemist test the fabric for indigo, which was not apparent in the first tests. The new tests with advanced equipment confirmed indigo. The fabrics were torn on deposit, probably representing a “ritual killing” of the fabric, just as they did with pottery. The fabrics also contained off-white cotton and white thread from milkweed, and red and yellow ochre. The preparation of indigo day is a very complex process
The research is in the September 14 Science Advances.

Live Science has the report here;

Mike Ruggeri’s Ancient Andean World

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