Flax fiber found from 32,000 years ago

Late this summer in a cave in the Republic of Georgia flax fibers were found that had been spun and dyed. Radiocarbon dating puts this fiber around 30,000 BCE, representing one of the earliest findings of humans using plant fibers. 

The thread was spun from wild flax. Threads found in the cave had been dyed violet, red, black and turquoise. From my little experience with dying fiber…these are not your everyday colors. Judging by the colors that are made from the majority of plant dyes , they are more in the autumn tones. Usually the results are gold, browns, greens and yellows. True black and real red are not easy to come by. I would love to hear from dyers and their opinions.

The cave was used on and off over various time periods. Due to the constant level of humidity in the cave it preserved the fibers. Fungus spores that were found in the cave are of the kinds that live off cloth. This leads the scientist to believe textiles were made from this fiber. 

The people of the time were considered early modern humans in a hunter-gatherer society. An out of date term you may know these humans by is Cro-magnon man.

I gave a timeline to give a broader picture of the time and what was happening.


38,000BCE – 33,000 BCE earliest example of figurines

35,000BCE oldest known mathematical artifact

33,000BCE earliest musical instrument 

30,000BCE cave paintings 

10,000 BCE last ice age

While doing this article I came across that Neanderthals…prior to this timeline, buried their dead with items. Cro-magnon men shaved. I also need to read “Clan of the Cave Bear”. That story of a Cro-magnon girl and the Neanderthals. It is a historical fiction novel. Love those. Love to hear your opinions or outlook on this subject.


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