The World’s Oldest Pants

These are the oldest known pants in history at 3000 – 3300 years of age. The ancient trousers were excavated from tombs in western China along with the remains of two men. The team of scientists was led by archaeologists Ulrike Beck and Mayke Wagner of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin.

In a recently published paper, Victor Mair of the University of Pennsylvania remarks:

“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.”

Previously, Europeans and Asians wore gowns, robes, tunics, togas or — as observed on the 5,300-year-old body of Ötzi the Iceman — a three-piece combination of loincloth and individual leggings. A dry climate and hot summers helped preserve human corpses, clothing and other organic material in the Tarim Basin. More than 500 tombs have been excavated in a graveyard there since the early 1970s.

Each pair of trousers was sewn together from three pieces of brown-colored wool cloth, one piece for each leg and an insert for the crotch. You can read much more about the discovery at Science News.

The World’s Oldest Pants