Re-blogged from Phys.org
(Phys.org) —A team of researchers working in the ancient Yanghai graveyard in China’s Tarim Basin has uncovered what appears to be the earliest example of trouser wearing. The research team has published a paper in the journal Quaternary International describing the pants and why they were likely developed to assist with riding horses.
The Tarim Basin in western China is host to the famous Yanghai tombs, a large ancient burial ground that dates back thousands of years—thus far over 500 individual gravesites have been excavated. In this latest find, two adult males (believed to be herders and warriors) both approximately 40 years old at the time of death, were wearing trousers. Carbon dating put the age of the material at approximately 3000 years ago, making the find the oldest known instance of trouser wearing.
In the tomb, along with the bodies, were a horse bit made of wood, a whip, a bow and a battle-axe. These artifacts along with the cut of the pants, suggest the trousers were created and worn to allow for easier horse riding over long periods of time. They also suggest that trouser creation had matured to a level that allowed for custom tailoring. Both specimens were created from three pieces of material (sized to fit a particular individual) one for each leg and a crotch piece—both also had an associated belt made of strings. No cutting was required. Each pant leg also had cross stitching that appeared to serve a purely decorative function…