25 Feb '16, 11pm
Behold, the world's oldest woven garment still in existence
There’s vintage and then there’s vintage . The so-called “Tarkhan Dress,” a V-neck linen shirt currently on show at University College London’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology , lies firmly in the latter category. Excavated in 1913 as part of a linen pile from a First Dynasty Egyptian tomb at Tarkhan, but discovered by textile conservators only in 1977, the dress was thought to be the world’s oldest surviving woven garment. For decades, its precise age remained uncertain because researchers feared that the sample previously needed for testing would have caused too much damage to the dress. Science has since improved, however, and recent radiocarbon testing by the University of Oxford can now confirm with 95 percent accuracy that the dress originated between 3482 and 3102 BC.