"What did people wear in pre-historic times? Brown, jute-like clothing might be what you’re thinking of, but even 3000 years ago we wore bright colours, Dutch scientists discovered.
Based on original textile remains which date around 800 BC, they have reconstructed a dress which must have been worn in the early Iron Age. The garment was bright red and blue, reseach shows. An important discovery.
The textileremains were found in 2011 in a grave in a pre-historic gravesite near Uden. “It was a pretty normal excavation, until we suddenly found a rechtangular ditch”, says archeologist Richard Jansen, who was involved in the discovery.
“After much discussion we chose to work downwards layer by layer. When we came to the lowest level, the silhouette of a body became visible. Extraordinary, because people in those days were almost all cremated, and not buried.”
Next to textileremains they also found some jewellery in the grave with which the person, probably a woman, was buried. Amongst which are three bronze bracelets, two bronze anklets, a set of toiletries with a nailfile and a pair of tweezers.
“It was a lady of high status,” says archeologist Sasja van der Vaart-Verschoof, associated with the Leyden Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden). “Absolutely no one, as far as we know, had this combination of remarkable objects.”
De textileremains make the grave of international significane, according to van der Vaart-Verschoof. “Textile normally never survives in the ground. That we still have it, after 3000 years, is because the textile was wrapped around the bracelets and anklets. The bronze rusted, which works its way into the fabric. That is how it was preserved.”
“What makes it even more extraordinary, is that we can see in which pattern the dress was woven, so which threads were red and which were blue. We can see that they were woven into a very familiar block pattern.”
Yvonne Lammers, archeologist and head of the pre-historic village in Eindhoven, reconstructed the dress with the help of volunteers. “We know quite a lot about the Iron Age, actually: that they were farmers with cropland and animals, that they were selfsufficient in everything. That they wool and linen, that they could spin yarn, which techniques they used for weaving. But this is not a regular, every-day dress, you have to compare it to a Chanel-suit, that’s how much work went into this.”
[In the video embedded in the website you see how van der Vaart-Verschoof and her colleagues discovered that the brown textile remains were actually red-blue blocked and you can see how the researchers reconstructed the dress, by among other things spinning ten kilometers (10km or 6,2 miles) of thread. Video is in Dutch, but worth a watch!]
As far as Lammers is concerned the find is going to have consequences for the way the volunteers in the museum are dressed. “A lot of visitors in our museum have the idea that it was stirring into the brown slush: brown dresses, brown houses, brown pots. If you can show that they absolutely were a very developed people who valued what they looked like, that makes them a very different kind of people.”
De reconstructed dress, the original textileremains, the jewellery and the toiletry set are exhibited until the 16th of January in museum Jan Cunen in Oss."
Source (in Dutch), with a few more pictures and a video where you can see the dress being worn!! Translation by me, sorry for any weird sentences. Tagging @systlin because it seems right up your alley!
Two Iron Age sword hilts, from Ballyshannon, Donegal, Ireland and Grimstone, Yorkshire, England
Ruins of bustling Roman town discovered in UK
Archaeologists have uncovered the exceptionally well-preserved remains of an Iron Age village that grew into a bustling ancient Roman trading town — an archaeological gem with more than 300 Roman coins, glass vessels and water wells — in what is now the district of South Northamptonshire, England in the United Kingdom.
The ancient hotspot — known as Blackgrounds for its black soil — has an abundance of ancient artifacts and structures spanning different time periods, including depictions of deities and Roman game pieces, according to about 80 archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) Headland Infrastructure, who spent the past year excavating the site ahead of the construction of HS2, a new high speed railway. Read more.
Sacrifices - offerings
Above + below, from Ribe, Denmark
Above + below, from Eketorp fort, Sweden
“... He offered to perform a sacrifice for the Swedes if they gave him the kingship. To that they all agreed: Svein was accepted as king over all the Swedish nation. Then there was a horse led up to the thing and sliced up and shared out for eating, and the sacrifice-tree was reddened with the blood. All the Swedes cast off Christianity and took to sacrificing, and they drove King Ingi away and he went to West Gautland. Blot-Svein, Sacrifice Svein, as he was known, was king of the Swedes for three winters. ...”
- Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks
The Nebra disc.
The Nebra sky disc is a bronze disc of around 30 cm (12 in) diameter and a weight of 2.2 kg (4.9 lb), having a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols. These symbols are interpreted generally as the Sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster of seven stars interpreted as the Pleiades).
Two golden arcs along the sides, interpreted to mark the angle between the solstices, were added later. A final addition was another arc at the bottom with internal parallel lines (of uncertain meaning, variously interpreted as a solar barge with numerous oars, the Milky Way or a rainbow).
The disc has been attributed to a site in present-day Germany near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt and was originally dated by archaeologists C1600 BCE, based on the provenance provided by the looters who found it.Researchers initially suggested the disc is an artefact from the Bronze Age Unetice culture, although a later dating to the Iron Age has also been proposed.
If its Bronze Age dating is accurate, the Nebra sky disc features the oldest concrete depiction of the cosmos yet known from anywhere in the world.
Credit: State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt, Juraj Lipták