Friday, February 11, 2011

History Mystery: Birth of Technology Part. III

Weaving of cloth for protection or status is considerably older than urban civilization. Early yarns were made by rolling threads around the thigh, but by 6000BC in Asia Minor the spindle was probably being used. The first looms were of two types vertical, complete with tensioning weights, and horizontal. The oldest surviving piece of woven fabric is swatch of linen cloth found in Catal Huyuk, Turkey. It dates from around 6000BC, but the techniques that produced it were already old. The cloth is as finely woven as many modern fabrics and almost certainly made on a loom.
                                                                                       Spindle whorls and loom weights appear in many settlements across the Middle East and Europe. This reflects the widespread use of spindles and upright looms. Flax is widely grown for making linen and other plant fibers are also used. Before 4500BC sheep begin to be kept for their wool in parts of the Middle East. Woolen textiles are later to become a major product and export for the Mesopotamian city states. Cotton begins to be cultivated in India around 4300BC.
                                                                                       Around 3800BC, fishing communities in coastal Peru weave mats from wild fibers and begin growing cotton. By 3500 BC cotton is also grown in Mesoamerica and used to make fishing nets and textiles. Silk weaving begins in China around 2700 BC. By 2500BC woven cotton is made in the Indus Valley. A form of horizontal loom suspended between a post and black strap around the weaver’s waist is used in South America, where textiles of cotton and alpaca wool are being made by 2000BC. They are highly prized and are considered as a principal form of wealth by Andean societies.

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