One of the oldest textiles in the world is found in the Russian cave damn gate in the Primorye Territory.
On one of the oldest fabrics in the world, found in a cave in the Maritime Territory, and the possibility to carry out carbon dating in Russia at the present level, "Gazeta.ru" said Dr. Geography Yaroslav Kuzmin, a senior fellow of the Novosibirsk Institute of Geology and Mineralogy.
Archaeological data and related science suggests that the earliest surviving articles of vegetable fiber, for the manufacture of which is likely to use a primitive loom, appeared in the Middle East in the Age of the original Neolithic (New Stone Age). Radiocarbon residues mats in the cave Nahal Hemar (Nahal Hemar) near the Dead Sea has shown that they made about 11,000 years ago. Other monuments, which discovered the charred remains of mats and denser tissue on accompanying material can be dated between 8800-8300 years ago.
In the rest of Eurasia, until recently, textile products have been known for more recent monuments.
In East Asia, such as Japan and China, the age of basketry (baskets and tissues) does not exceed the 7800-6700 years. Russian Far East in the 1970's. Devil's Gate in a cave in the north of Primorye were found remains of textiles, whose age was about 7500 years. These findings were made in the excavations carried out by the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography of the Peoples of the Far East (Vladivostok), led by Dr. Joan History Andreeva.
But a few years ago, it became necessary to revise the age of textiles as well as in the early 2000s, dating of the bones of two people who once lived in a cave, gave somewhat older age than the first determination of 1970-80's. — Almost 8,000 years ago.
Thus, the object was able to claim the role of one of the earliest, along with the findings of textile products in Asia.
To accomplish this it was necessary to direct radiocarbon dating of textiles. There was a problem, because if we look at one of the Russian radiocarbon laboratories (which are located in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk), almost all of the unique artifacts have been lost forever in the analysis, since when dating an irreversible destruction of the sample. I had to find innovative solutions.
It should be noted that the radiocarbon method, which is used to determine the age of young (not older than 45-50 thousand years) of organic samples, since its appearance has undergone a major transformation, or we can even say "revolution." It is unlikely that the authors of the method (American physicist Willard Libby and his disciples) for his invention in 1949, imagine how far gone progress in radiocarbon dating. Thus, in the late 1970s, a new apparatus, the so-called accelerator mass spectrometry (abbreviated UMC, the English abbreviation — AMS: Accelerator Mass Spectrometer), through which it became possible to determine the radiocarbon age of very small samples — about a thousand times less than in conventional radiocarbon dating conducted by Russian laboratories.
Use of this technique has allowed scientists to determine the age of the most valuable artifacts with minimal damage to them — such as the Shroud of Turin and the Dead Sea Scrolls.
This method has been used by and for determining the age of finds of textiles from ferris Gate. This is made possible thanks to years of scientific cooperation, the author of these lines, working with colleagues at the Novosibirsk Institute of Geology and Mineralogy, with experts from the Laboratory of accelerator mass spectrometry, U.S. National Science Foundation at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The results of a joint study published in the June issue of the international journal Antiquity («Antiquities"), which was established in 1927 and is one of the most prestigious publications in archeology and related disciplines.
It turned out that the age of textiles (mats and nets) is from 9200 to 8800 years.
In other words, the findings of the cave are the Devil's Gate oldest preserved textiles in East Asia, as well as one of the earliest in Eurasia!
What is new, these data give to the world of archeology? First, was able to significantly push back the time of appearance of textiles on the eastern edge of Eurasia. Second, it became clear that in East Asia, a method for manufacturing tissue was different from that of the Middle East — the ancient East Asian weavers not used for making fibers from plant fibers devices like spindles, which served as the masters of the Middle East as a weighting spindles, which are wound on a thread , which served as the source material for textiles.
Third, it was found that in East Asia the first products from plant fibers appear in hunter-gatherers and fishermen, that is, in more primitive societies, than in the Middle East, which at that time were known for agriculture and animal husbandry.
Neolithic finds of textiles in the Russian Far East, additional study at the advanced level, have allowed a new perspective on the emergence of weaving, which is of great importance for the archeology of the Eurasian space. Earlier in the Pacific similar finds were rare, and their antiquity — is relatively low.
Now East Asia is in this respect on a par with the Middle East and Europe.
In conclusion, I would like to say a few positive words on the development of Russian science. At present, the method of UMC is very prevalent in the world, so, in Europe, America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, working at least 40-50 specialized laboratories using this advanced technology. In Russia, until recently, such equipment was not, and the scientists had to ask for help from colleagues overseas. But in recent years the situation has changed for the better now at the Center for collective use "Quaternary Geochronology" Novosibirsk Scientific Center, Russian Academy of Sciences was created and is debugging the first Russian accelerator mass spectrometer. Hopefully, in the near future, such studies will be possible, and in Siberia.
TEXT: Yaroslav Kuzmin
PHOTO: Yaroslav Kuzmin / / ANTIQUITY