Tuesday, June 02, 2009

INDUS CIVILIZATION PRODUCED HOME-GROWN SILK LONG BEFORE THE CHINESE DID

In the June Natural History Magazine there's an interesting note:

Irene L Good of Harvard's Peabody Museum and two colleagues studied tiny bits of fiber attached to ancient copper jewelry fragments. The fragments came from Harappa and Chanhu-daro, two archaeological sits in present-day Pakistan that were part of the great Indus civilization that flourished from 2800 to 1900 BC.

Using an electron microscope, Good determined the Indus fibers to be silk (not from moths exploited in China ) but rather from two South Asian silk moths.

So, South Asians were apparently producing home-grown silk two millennia before the Chinese began officially exporting it, around 115 BC.

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