Rare finds: Prehistoric textiles

Textiles are among the items rarely found by archaeologists. Generally, they decay within just a few decades as a result of their organic composition.

Special conditions are needed for them to be preserved over longer periods of time. Such conditions include ice, as proved by the mummified remains of Ötzi the Iceman from the Ötztal Valley, whose clothing told us much about what people wore in the Neolithic Age. Other locations ideal for preserving materials are areas of moorland and desert - very damp and very dry conditions respectively.

In Hallstatt, most of the textiles have been preserved in excellent condition thanks to the high concentrations of salt in the mines which has even maintained their original colors. However, textile remains have also been found at the burial site. These remains are generally quite small as they have only survived where material has corroded onto metal objects such as swords.

(Groemer, K. - Loew, C.)


Borte in Brettchenwebtechnik, Hallstattzeit (Bild: H. Reschreiter - NHM Wien)