World's Oldest Pair of Pants Found

They were probably worn by ancient horse riders in China

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 3, 2014 2:19 PM CDT
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(Newser) – Archaeologists working at an ancient graveyard in western China have unearthed what they say is the oldest pair of pants ever found, reports Science News. In fact, they found two pairs, and the clothing items are not only functional but relatively stylish. The wool pants were found with the remains of two men, each about 40, who lived as many as 3,300 years ago and likely rode horses long distances, based on the riding gear that was placed in the tomb.

These particular pants look to be custom-made, suggesting that people had been practicing the art of pants-making for a while, notes "Rather than the modern method of cutting down large pieces of fabric, the early pants were woven on a loom in precisely-sized segments to form the final garment, like nomad couture," explains Time. They even feature decorative cross-stitching. The find bolsters the theory that pants first came into being not too long after horse-riding did—an estimated 4,000 years ago. (How to extend the life of your pants? Stop washing them.)

Scientists think horsemen of long ago wore these.
Scientists think horsemen of long ago wore these.   (German Archaeological Institute)
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