The earliest surviving sample of tartan fabric was found in a cemetery in the Tarim Basin, China. It dates back to around 1200 B.C. and is made of kemp, the coarse outer hair of a sheep or goat. The fabric is similar to Scottish tartan of the 17th century, suggesting that these two cultures may have had a common ancestor.It means that the tartan also crossed over to the east. Let’s look at a piece of history.
Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. It is often associated with Scotland, but tartan has a long and complex global history.The earliest known tartan textiles were produced by the Hallstatt culture of Central Europe between the 8th and 6th centuries BC. Tartan-like textiles have also been found in Indo-European Tocharian graves in Western China, dating back to 3,000 years ago.The word “tartan” is derived from the French word “tiretain,” which is thought to come from the verb “tirer,” meaning “to pull.” This suggests that tartan was originally used to describe woven cloth, as opposed to knitted cloth.
Today, tartan is generally used to describe the pattern itself, regardless of the material it is made from. However, tartan is still most commonly associated with woolen textiles.In Scotland, tartan has been used to make a variety of garments, including the kilt, the plaid, and the arisaid. Tartan has also been used to make other items, such as blankets, scarves, and ties.Tartan is also a popular symbol of Scottish identity and culture. Scottish tartans are often associated with specific clans or families, and wearing tartan can be a way to show pride in one’s Scottish heritage.However, tartan is not just a Scottish phenomenon. Tartan patterns are found in many cultures around the world, including Japan, China, and Africa. This suggests that tartan has a long and complex history, and that it has been developed and adapted by many different cultures over the centuries.
Tarim mummies
The Tarim mummies are a series of mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin in present-day China. They date from 1800 BCE to the first centuries BCE. The Tarim population that produced the earliest mummies was agropastoral, and they lived in what was formerly a freshwater environment.A genomic study published in 2021 found that the early Tarim mummies were genetically isolated from other populations. They had high levels of Ancient North Eurasian ancestry and smaller amounts of Ancient Northeast Asian ancestry. However, they had no detectable Western Steppe-related ancestry.The Tarim mummies were long suspected to have been ancestors of the Tocharians, but this has now been largely discredited by their absence of a genetic connection with Indo-European-speaking migrants.The Tarim mummies were found in very good condition, owing to the dryness of the desert. Many of them have their hair physically intact, ranging in color from blond to red to deep brown. Their costumes, and especially textiles, may indicate a common origin with Indo-European neolithic clothing techniques.Tattoos have been identified on mummies from several sites around the Tarim Basin.The textiles found with the mummies are of an early European textile type. This suggests that the Tarim people may have had contact with people from Europe.The Tarim mummies are a fascinating glimpse into the ancient world. They provide insights into the lives and cultures of people who lived over 3,000 years ago.

1st Wave: from the end of the 3rd millennium BC (3000 BC – 2001 BC), i.e., from about 4000 years ago
2nd wave: 17th century BC (1700 BC – 1601 BC), i.e., from about 3700 to 3600 years ago
3rd Wave: end of the 2nd millennium BC (1001 BC) OR beginning of the 1st millennium BC (1000 BC), i.e., from about 3000 years ago

  1. 第1波:紀元前第三千年期(BC.3000年~BC.2001年)の最後、つまり、約4000年前から
  2. 第2波:紀元前十七世紀(BC.1700年~BC.1601年)、つまり、約3700~3600年前から
  3. 第3波:紀元前第二千年期の終わり(BC.1001)or 紀元前第一千年期の初め(BC.1000)、つまり、約3000年前から
A map of possible dispersal patterns for the Indo-Europeans, showing possible migration routes between the 35th and 25th centuries BC. See Holm ([2007] 2008). Courtesy of Dr. Hans J. Holm.
In 1995, Victor Mair, a professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, claimed that the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin were exclusively Caucasoid, or Europoid. He also claimed that East Asian migrants arrived in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around 3,000 years ago and the Uyghur peoples arrived around the year 842. In an attempt to trace the origins of these populations, Mair’s team suggested that they may have arrived in the region by way of the Pamir Mountains about 5,000 years ago. Here is a rewrite of Mair’s claims:
The new finds are also forcing a reexamination of old Chinese books that describe historical or legendary figures of great height, with deep-set blue or green eyes, long noses, full beards, and red or blond hair. Scholars have traditionally scoffed at these accounts, but it now seems that they may be accurate Here is a rewrite of Mair’s claims:
The new finds are also forcing a reexamination of old Chinese books that describe historical or legendary figures of great height, with deep-set blue or green eyes, long noses, full beards, and red or blond hair. Scholars have traditionally scoffed at these accounts, but it now seems that they may be accurate Here is a rewrite of Mair’s claims:

In 2007, a team of scientists from the National Geographic Society, led by Spencer Wells, examined the DNA of the Tarim mummies. They found that the Tarim Basin was continually inhabited from 2000 BCE to 300 BCE, and that the people who lived there had a diverse genetic background, with origins in Europe, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and other regions.A 2008 study by Jilin University found that the Tarim people were closely related to modern populations in South Central Asia and the Indus Valley, as well as to an ancient population called the Chawuhu.

Between 2009 and 2015, scientists analyzed the DNA of 92 individuals from the Xiaohe Tomb complex. They found that the mothers of the Xiaohe people came from both East Asia and West Eurasia, while the fathers all came from West Eurasia. Mitochondrial DNA analysis showed that the Xiaohe people carried mtDNA haplogroups H, K, U5, U7, U2e, T, and R*, which are now most common in West Eurasia. They also carried haplogroups B5, D, and G2a, which are common in modern populations from East Asia. Haplogroups C4 and C5, which are now common in Central Asian or Siberian populations, were also found in the Xiaohe people. Haplogroups M5 and M*, which are now regarded as typically South Asian, were also found in the Xiaohe people.

A 2010 study by Li et al. found that nearly all of the males in the Xiaohe sample (11 out of 12, or around 92%) belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1a1-M17 (Z93-), which is now most common in Northern India and Eastern Europe. The remaining male belonged to the exceptionally rare paragroup K* (M9) from Asia. The geographic location of this admixing is unknown, but it may have occurred in southern Siberia. Chinese historian Ji Xianlin has said that China “supported and admired” research by foreign experts into the mummies. However, he has also warned against using the mummies to promote ethnic separatism. He has said that some people have styled themselves the descendants of the ancient “white people” of the Tarim Basin in order to divide China. Barber has criticized these claims, noting that the Tarim mummies are not more closely related to Turks than they are to Han Chinese. Due to the “fear of fuelling separatist currents”, the Xinjiang museum displays all of their mummies, both Tarim and Han, together.

In 2021, the School of Life Sciences at Jilin University, China, analyzed the DNA of 13 individuals from the Tarim Basin, dated to c. 2100-1700 BC. They found that 2 of the individuals belonged to Y-haplogroup R1b1b-PH155/PH4796 (R1b1c in ISOGG2016), and 1 belonged to Y-haplogroup R1-PF6136 (xR1a, xR1b1a).

タリムのミイラは、中国のタリム盆地で発見された一連のミイラです。紀元前1800年から紀元前1世紀のものであり、砂漠の乾燥によって非常に良好な状態で発見されました。 1995年、ペンシルベニア大学のビクター・メア教授は、タリムの最古のミイラはコーカソイド、つまりヨーロッパ系の人々であると主張しました。また、東アジアからの移民がタリム盆地の東部に到着したのは約3000年前、ウイグル族が到着したのは842年頃だと主張しました。これらの集団の起源をたどる試みとして、メア氏のチームは、彼らが約5000年前にパミール山脈を経由してこの地域に到着した可能性を示唆しました。 しかし、2007年以降のDNA研究により、メア氏の主張は修正されました。2007年、スペンサー・ウェルズ率いるナショナル・ジオグラフィック協会の科学者チームが、タリムのミイラのDNAを調査した結果、タリムの人々はヨーロッパ、メソポタミア、インダス渓谷、その他の地域に起源を持つ多様な遺伝的背景を持っていたことが判明しました。また、2021年の研究では、紀元前2100〜1700年頃のタリムのミイラのDNAから、YハプログループR1b1b-PH155/PH4796(ISOGG2016ではR1b1c)とR1-PF6136(xR1a、xR1b1a)が検出されました。 これらの研究結果から、タリムの人々は、ヨーロッパ、中央アジア、東アジアなど、さまざまな地域から移住してきた人々によって形成された多様な集団であることがわかります。
Derivation from Ancient North Eurasians
A 2021 genetic study of 13 Tarim mummies, dating from 2,135 to 1,623 BCE, found that they were primarily descended from a population related to the Ancient North Eurasians (ANE), particularly the Afontova Gora 3 (AG3) specimen. The AG3 individual’s genetic profile made up about 72% of the Tarim mummies’ ancestry, while the remaining 28% came from Ancient Northeast Asians (ANA).
The Tarim mummies are thus one of the few Holocene populations to derive most of their ancestry from the ANE, despite being separated from them by around 14,000 years. This makes the Tarim mummies the best representatives of the ANE known to date.Tests on the Tarim mummies’ genetic legacy also found that many groups in Central Asia and Xinjiang derive varying degrees of ancestry from a population related to the Tarim mummies. The Tajik people show the closest affinity to the Tarim mummies, but their main ancestry is linked to Bronze Age Steppe pastoralists.
The Tocharians, also known as the Tokharians, were a people who spoke two extinct Indo-European languages in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China, from around 400 to 1200 AD. The name “Tocharian” was given to these languages by scholars in the early 20th century, but the Tocharians’ actual ethnic name is unknown. The Tocharians arrived in the Tarim Basin around 2,000 BC, and by the 2nd century BC, they had developed into city-states, the largest of which was Kucha. The city-states were ruled by various empires over the centuries, including the Xiongnu, Han dynasty, Tibetan Empire, and Tang dynasty. In the 8th century AD, the Uyghurs settled in the region and founded the Kingdom of Qocho. The Uyghurs’ language spread through the region, and the Tocharian languages became extinct during the 9th century.
In the early 20th century, archaeologists discovered a number of manuscripts in the Tarim Basin of modern-day Xinjiang, China. These manuscripts were written in two previously unknown Indo-European languages, which were easy to read because they used a variation of the Indian Middle-Brahmi script. The languages were designated “Tocharian” after the toxrï tyly (Tωγry tyly, “The language of the Togari”), which was mentioned in a colophon of a Buddhist work in Old Turkic (Uighur). Manichean texts from the same region also used the expression “the land of the Four Toghar” to designate the area where the language was spoken.
The first scholar to propose a name for the new languages was Friedrich W. K. Müller. Müller called the languages “Tocharian” after the ethnonym Tókharoi (Ancient Greek: Τόχαροι), which was used by Strabo to refer to one of the “Scythian” tribes that overran the Greco-Bactrian kingdom in the second half of the 2nd century BC. This term also appears in Indo-Iranian languages, and became the source of the term “Tokharistan” usually referring to 1st millennium Bactria. The Tókharoi are often identified by modern scholars with the Yuezhi of Chinese historical accounts, who founded the Kushan Empire.
Müller’s identification became a minority position among scholars when it turned out that the people of Tokharistan (Bactria) spoke Bactrian, an Eastern Iranian language, which is quite distinct from the Tocharian languages. Nevertheless, “Tocharian” remained the standard term for the languages of the Tarim Basin manuscripts and for the people who produced them. The name of Kucha in Tocharian B was Kuśi, with adjectival form kuśiññe. The word may be derived from Proto-Indo-European *keuk “shining, white”. The Tocharian B word akeññe may have referred to people of Agni, with a derivation meaning “borderers, marchers”. One of the Tocharian A texts have ārśi-käntwā as a name for their own language, so that ārśi may have meant “Agnean”, though “monk” is also possible.Tocharian kings apparently gave themselves the title Ñäktemts soy (in Tocharian B), an equivalent of the title Devaputra (“Son of God”) of Indian kings.
20世紀初頭、考古学者たちは中国新疆ウイグル自治区のタリム盆地で多くの写本を発見しました。これらの写本は、以前は知られていなかった2つのインド・ヨーロッパ語で書かれており、インド中ブラフミー文字の一種で書かれていたため、簡単に読むことができました。これらの言語は、突厥語(ウイグル語)の仏教経典の奥書で言及されている「トカラ語」(toxrï tyly、吐火羅語)にちなんで「トハラ語」と名付けられました。同じ地域の摩尼教文書でも、「四つの吐火羅人の土地」という表現が使われており、この言語の分布地域を指しています。新しい言語に名前を付けた最初の学者は、フリードリヒ・W・K・ミュラーでした。ミュラーは、これらの言語を「トハラ語」と名付けたのは、古代ギリシャの歴史家ストラボ(Strabo)が、紀元前2世紀後半に大夏ギリシャ王国を征服した「スキタイ」部族の1つをTókharoi(古代ギリシャ語:Τόχαροι)と呼んでいたことに由来しています。この言葉はインド・イラン語にも見られ、「吐火羅」という言葉の由来となり、一般的には1千年紀の巴克トリア(Bactria)を指します。現代の学者は、Tókharoiを中国の歴史文献に登場する月氏(Yuezhi)と結びつけており、月氏は貴霜帝国の建国者です。しかし、トハラ語とバクトリア語が全く異なることが判明すると、ミュラーの同定は学者の間では少数派の意見となりました。バクトリア語は東イラン語の一種です。にもかかわらず、「トハラ語」はタリム盆地の写本言語とこれらの写本を制作した人々の標準的な用語として残っています。亀茲はトハラ語BではKuśi、形容詞形はkuśiññeと呼ばれています。この言葉は、原始インド・ヨーロッパ語の*keukに由来し、「輝く、白い」という意味です。トハラ語Bのakeññeは、阿耆尼(Agni)の人を指す言葉で、その語源は「境界、行進者」という意味です。トハラ語Aの1つの文書では、自分の言語をārśi-käntwāと呼んでおり、そのためārśiは「阿耆尼の」という意味である可能性がありますが、「僧侶」という意味も考えられます。トハラ人王は明らかにÑäktemts soy(トハラ語B)の称号を名乗っており、これはインドの王のDevaputra(「神の子」)の称号に相当します。 
Earliest Surviving Tartan Found in China
Earliest Surviving Tartan Found in China. Archaeologists working in the Tarim Basin of eastern China unearthed a cemetery in 1979 containing mummified remains of individuals clothed in geometric kemp wool pattern fabric. This cloth is the earliest surviving sample of tartan.
Textile expert Elizabeth Barber has noted the similarity of this cloth to fragments recovered from salt mines of the Hallstatt culture, as well as to Scottish tartan of the 17th century. The number of color lines (up to six) and the varying thickness and thinness of color bands is strikingly similar, despite the age of the samples.This suggests that tartan has a common origin with Indo-European neolithic clothing, and that it has been around for much longer than previously thought.
So far, archaeologists have excavated 113 graves at Qizilchoqa, in western China. They believe an equal number remain to be explored. Based on carbon-14 dating and the style of painted pots found with the corpses, all the mummies at Qizilchoqa date to around 1200 B.C. The mummies are fully clothed in brightly colored woolen fabrics, felt, and leather boots. The men generally have light brown or blond hair, while the women have long braids. One girl has blue tattoo marks on her wrist.An anthropologist from the University of Pennsylvania examined a sample of cloth from one of the mummies. She found that the material was not wool, but rather the coarse outer hair of a sheep or goat. Despite the crudeness of the fibers, they had been carefully dyed green, blue, and brown to make a tartan design. The cloth was also woven in a diagonal twill pattern, which indicated the use of a sophisticated loom.This discovery is significant for two reasons. First, it shows that tartan has been around for much longer than previously thought. Second, it suggests that the people who lived in Qizilchoqa were skilled weavers and had access to a variety of dyes.
Reproduction of a 6-colour tartan garment from Qizilchoqa near Hami in China. From ‘The Mummies of Urumchi’ by Elizabeth Barber.
Some of these mummies are old. Very old, well over 3 000 years. They are also remarkably well-preserved, having been buried in almost perfect conditions – nice and dry. Astoundingly, the mummies seem to be Caucasian – very strange in Chinese Turkestan, where the predominant population is either Chinese or Mongol. But the mummies have blond hair, they are tall (very tall) and fair-skinned, they have high-bridged noses and round eyes. Interestingly enough, this tallies with descriptions in ancient Chinese texts, referring to a neighbouring people of great height, with fair or red hair and deep-set blue eyes. These Nordic hunks hung around in one form or other until somewhere midway through the first millennia A.D. They were called Tokharian.
Archaeologists have discovered mummies in various locations within the Tarim Basin of western China. These mummies date to different time periods, but they all share one common feature: the high quality of the woven textiles they were buried with, many of which have a tartan pattern.The tartan patterns uncovered in Chinese Turkestan resemble not only those of the old Hallstatt culture (bi-colored twill weave or three-colored plain weave) but also those of Scottish tartans (multi-colored twill). This suggests that the people who lived in the Tarim Basin may have been related to the people who lived in Scotland.However, it is important to note that tartan patterns are found in many different cultures around the world. It is possible that the tartan patterns in Chinese Turkestan developed independently of those in Scotland.More research is needed to understand the relationship between the people of the Tarim Basin and the people of Scotland. However, the discovery of tartan patterns in Chinese Turkestan is a fascinating clue to the shared history of these two regions.
Around 3,000 B.C., in present-day Turkey, people began to develop new ways to work with wool. They invented spindles and adapted looms to handle this new material, which was very different from the linen thread they had been using up to that point. They also developed a new weaving technique called twill, which allowed them to create tighter, warmer cloth.At the time, Anatolia and the Caucasus region were a melting pot of cultures. People from all over the world exchanged ideas and innovations, including domesticated horses, carts, woolly sheep, and woolen textiles. They also spoke a variety of proto Indo-European languages.For some reason, perhaps because of conflict, overgrazing, or a desire to explore, some of these people began to migrate from their homelands. Some went east, while others went west.The mummies found in Ürümchi, China, are thought to be descendants of the people who went east. They were buried with tartan textiles, which suggests that they carried their tribal tartan patterns with them on their journey. Other people who went east developed into the Tokharians, who spoke an Indo-European language that was closely related to Celtic languages. This suggests that the Tokharians and the Celts may have had common ancestors. The people who went west developed into the Celts. They also carried their tribal tartan patterns with them, and these patterns eventually evolved into the Scottish tartans that we know today. This journey of tartan patterns from Anatolia to Scotland is a reminder of the interconnectedness of human cultures. It also shows how long-standing traditions can be preserved and passed down from generation to generation.
Genetics: surprising findings on the origin of Bronze Age talim mummies.
28 October 2021.
Naturally preserved, Bronze Age mummies discovered in the Tarim Basin of Xinjiang, China, belonged to a genetically isolated, local population, according to genome-wide analysis of their DNA. These findings, published in Nature, contradict previous hypotheses that these mummies descended from populations that migrated from what is now southern Siberia, northern Afghanistan or the Central Asian mountains. The origins of the Tarim mummies and the Xiaohe culture to which they belonged have been debated since their discovery in the early 20th century, notably because of the distinct appearance of the mummies, as well as the associated clothing and farming practices. Three major hypotheses remain disputed; namely, that these people descended from migrating steppe herders from what is now southern Siberia or farmers from mountain Central Asia or desert oases in northern Afghanistan. Choongwon Jeong and colleagues analysed genomic DNA of 13 mummies dating to around 2100–1700 BC from the Tarim Basin in South Xinjiang, as well as 5 mummies dating to around 3000–2800 BC from the northern Dzungarian Basin. These mummies are believed to represent the earliest human remains to have been discovered in Xinjiang to date. The authors found that the Dzungarian mummies had largely Afanasievo ancestry (steppe herders from the Altai–Sayan mountains in what is now southern Siberia) with some local genetic influences, whereas the Tarim mummies only had local ancestry. Milk proteins discovered within deposits on the teeth of seven Tarim mummies indicated that this population probably relied on dairy farming. Taken together, these findings contradict previous hypotheses of migration, and instead imply that, although the genetic lineages of local Dzungarian populations and Afanasievo migrants may have mixed, Tarim Basin cultures probably arose from a genetically isolated, local population. However, they suggest that this population was culturally cosmopolitan and maintained close ties with its herder and farmer neighbours. In an associated News & Views, Paula Dupuy delves further into the key findings of the paper and their implications for our knowledge of Inner Asian prehistory. In her conclusion, she remarks that the authors ‘have answered the question of the genetic origins of the Xiaohe culture. Now it is up to the collaborative input of scholars to further explain the dynamic and varied patterns of cultural exchange that define the Bronze Age of Inner Asia.’
中国の新疆ウイグル自治区のタリム盆地で発見された、自然に保存されてきた青銅器時代のミイラが、遺伝的に孤立した地域集団に属していたことが、DNAのゲノム規模の解析によって明らかになった。このことを報告する論文が、Nature に掲載される。この知見は、タリムミイラが現在のシベリア南部、アフガニスタン北部、中央アジアの山岳地帯から移住してきた集団の子孫だとする従来の仮説と一致しない。 タリムミイラとこれらが属していた小河(Xiaohe)文化の起源については、ミイラが20世紀初頭に発見されて以来、議論が続いており、特にその理由となっているのが、ミイラの独特の外観とそれに関連した服飾技術と農耕技術だった。この点に関しては、3つの主要な仮説を巡って議論が続いている。つまり、現在のシベリア南部のステップ遊牧民の子孫とする仮説、中央アジアの山岳地帯出身の農民とする仮説、アフガニスタン北部の砂漠地帯のオアシスから移住してきた農民とする仮説だ。 今回、Chuongwon Jeongたちは、新疆ウイグル自治区南部のタリム盆地で出土した紀元前2100~1700年ごろのミイラ13体と、ジュンガル盆地北部で出土した紀元前3000~2800年ごろのミイラ5体のゲノムDNAを解析した。これらのミイラは、これまで新疆ウイグル自治区で発見された最古の人骨だと考えられている。ジュンガルのミイラは、ほとんどの場合、祖先がアファナシェボ(現在のシベリア南部にあるアルタイ–サヤン山脈のステップ遊牧民)にあり、地元の遺伝的影響も一部見られた。一方、タリムのミイラは、地元の祖先しか見つからなかった。7体のタリムミイラの歯の堆積物の中から乳タンパク質が発見され、このタリムの集団が酪農に依存していた可能性が非常に高いことが示された。これらの知見をまとめると、従来の移住説とは一致せず、地元のジュンガル系集団とアファナシェボからの移民の遺伝的系統が混合した可能性があるものの、タリム盆地の文化は遺伝的に孤立した地域集団から生じた可能性が非常に高いことが示唆された。ただし、Jeongたちは、この地域集団の文化は国際的であり、近隣の牧畜民や農民と密接な関係を維持していたと示唆している。 同時掲載のNews & Viewsでは、Paula Dupuyが、Jeongたちの論文に記述された重要な知見と、それが先史時代の内陸アジアに関する我々の知識に対して持つ意味をさらに掘り下げている。Dupuyは、結論として、Jeongたちが「小河文化の遺伝的起源という疑問に答えた。内陸アジアの青銅器時代を決めたダイナミックで多様な文化交流のパターンをさらに説明できるかどうかは、今後の学者たちの共同研究にかかっている」と述べている。
BC 200
The woman from Huldremose
In the 2nd century BC, the body of a woman was placed in an old peat-cutting hole in Huldremosen, at Ramten in Djursland, Denmark. A sharp object had inflicted a severe cut on her right upper arm before she died. The oxygen-poor conditions in the bog preserved her body, including her skin, hair, clothing, and stomach contents. She was discovered and excavated in 1879 by a worker digging peat turfs at Huldremose.. Like most bog bodies found in Denmark, the Huldremose woman was fully clothed. She wore a wool skirt, a scarf, and two skin capes. She was over 40 years old when she died, which was considered old age by Iron Age life expectancy standards. The discovery of the woman has sparked numerous debates and interpretations over the years. One possibility is that she was murdered and placed in the bog as a sacrifice.
Studies of color pigment in the suit has revealed that the Huldremose womans suit originally have been colored with red and blue hues.
The woman’s long hair was bound up with a woollen cord, which was also wound round her neck several times. She also wore another wool cord around her neck, on which hung two small amber beads. An impression on the ring finger of her left hand indicates that she originally wore a ring. However, there is no sign of it today and it may be that the ring was removed in connection with the handling of the body in 1879.A thorough examination of the woman’s body has shown that her innermost item of clothing was a garment made of plant fibres, maybe nettle or linen. Only af few traces of this garment are left on the woman’s skin, as the major part of the textile has decomposed during the period in the bog. The skirt and scarf display an alternating check pattern of light and dark wool. The long period in the water of the bog has turned the clothes brown. Colour analysis has shown that originally the skirt was blue and the scarf was a red colour.
AD 250 (ABOUT)
The original Falkirk ‘Tartan’ ,now in the National Museum of Scotland, has a place in history as one of the earliest examples of Scottish cloth in existence. It is a direct link back to the Roman occupation of the area around 250 A.D.and was found stuffed into a pot filled with over 2000 silver coins.
The Celts have been weaving checkered or striped cloth for thousands of years. A few of these ancient samples have been found across Europe and Scandinavia. It is believed that this form of weaving was introduced to the west of northern Britain by the Iron Age Celtic Scoti (Scots) from Ireland in the 5th-6th centuries BC.Early Romans wrote about the Celtic tribes wearing bright striped clothing. There was no word for checkered at that time. One of the earliest examples of tartan found in Scotland dates back to the 3rd century AD. It is a small sample of woolen check known as the Falkirk tartan, which is now in the National Museum of Scotland. It was found used as a stopper in an earthenware pot to protect a treasure trove of silver coins buried near the Antonine Wall near Falkirk. It is a simple two-colored check or tartan, made from the undyed brown and white wool of the native Soay sheep. Colors were determined by the local plants that could be used for dyes.
The oldest known “tartan” remnant from Scotland is referred to as the “Falkirk Tartan”. This woven wool fabric was found in Falkirk, Scotland stuffed into a jar containing Roman coin dated to the year 250 AD. It is comprised of two natural shades of undied wool. It actually looks more like a Harris Tweed than a tartan.
Scotland’s oldest known surviving tartan discovered in a peat bog (AD 1500-1600)
New scientific research has revealed a piece of tartan found in a peat bog in Glen Affric around forty years ago can be dated to circa 1500-1600 AD, making it the oldest known surviving specimen of true tartan in Scotland.
The Scottish Tartans Authority commissioned Dye Analysis and Radiocarbon testing on the woollen textile to prove its age. The first investigation was dye analysis carried out by analytical scientists from National Museums Scotland. Using high resolution digital microscopy, four colours were visually identified for dye analysis: green and brown and possibly red and yellow. The dye analysis confirmed the use of indigo/woad in the green but was inconclusive for the other colours, probably due to the dyestuff degradation state. However, there were no artificial or semi-synthetic dyestuffs involved in the making of the tartan, which pointed to a date of pre-1750s.
Further clarification on the age of the tartan involved radiocarbon testing at the SUERC Radiocarbon Laboratory in East Kilbride. The process involved washing out all the peat staining, which would have otherwise contaminated the carbon content of the textile. The Radiocarbon testing results identified a broad date range between 1500 and 1655 AD, with the period between 1500 and 1600 AD the most probable. This makes it the oldest-known piece of true tartan found in Scotland – the Falkirk ‘tartan’, dating from the early third century AD, is actually a simpler check pattern woven using undyed yarns.
Peter MacDonald, Head of Research and Collections at The Scottish Tartans Authority, said: “The testing process has taken nearly six months but the effort was well worth it and we are thrilled with the results! “In Scotland, surviving examples of old textiles are rare as the soil is not conducive to their survival. As the piece was buried in peat, meaning it had no exposure to air and was therefore preserved.“The tartan has several colours with multiple stripes of different sizes, and so it corresponds to what people would think of as a true tartan.“Although we can theorise about the Glen Affric tartan, it’s important that we don’t construct history around it. Although Clan Chisholm controlled that area, we cannot attribute the tartan to them as we don’t know who owned it.“The potential presence of red, a colour that Gaels considered a status symbol, is interesting because of the more rustic nature of the cloth. This piece is not something you would associate with a king or someone of high status; it is more likely to be an outdoor working garment. John McLeish, Chair of The Scottish Tartans Authority, said: “The Glen Affric tartan is clearly a piece of national and historical significance. It is likely to date to the reign of James V, Mary Queen of Scots, or James VI/I. “There is no other known surviving piece of tartan from this period of this age. It’s a remarkable discovery and deserves national attention and preservation. “It also deserves to be seen and we’re delighted that it is to be included in the Tartan exhibition at V&A Dundee.”
スコットランドの泥炭地で約40年前に見つかったタータンの新しい科学的研究により、その年代が紀元1500-1600年頃であることが判明し、スコットランドで最古のタータンであることが確認されました。スコットランド・タータン協会は、この毛織物の年代を証明するため、染料分析と放射性炭素年代測定を依頼しました。最初の調査は、スコットランド国立博物館の分析科学者によって行われた染料分析でした。高解像度デジタル顕微鏡を用いて、緑、茶、赤、黄の4色が染料分析のために視覚的に識別されました。染料分析の結果、緑色にはインディゴ/ワタが使用されていることが確認されましたが、他の色については、おそらく染料の劣化状態のため、確定的ではありませんでした。しかし、このタータンの作成には人工染料や半合成染料は使用されていないため、1750年以前の年代を指していると推測されます。タータンの年代をさらに明確にするため、イーストキルブライドにあるSUERC放射性炭素年代測定研究所で放射性炭素年代測定が行われました。この過程では、繊維の炭素含有量を汚染する可能性がある泥炭染みをすべて洗い流す必要がありました。放射性炭素年代測定の結果、年代範囲は紀元1500年から1655年の間と特定され、最も可能性の高いのは紀元1500年から1600年の期間であることがわかりました。このため、これはスコットランドで発見された最古のタータンであると考えられます。早期の3世紀にさかのぼるフォールカークの「タータン」は、実際には染色されていない糸を使用して織られたよりシンプルなチェック柄です。スコットランド・タータン協会の研究・コレクション責任者であるピーター・マクドナルド氏(Peter MacDonald)は、次のように述べています。「検査には約6か月かかりましたが、その努力は十分に報われました。私たちは結果にとても興奮しています」
Glen Affric tartan – Scotland’s oldest-known true tartan discovered by The Scottish Tartans Authority to go on display for the first time at V&A Dundee’s Tartan exhibition. Image courtesy of Alan Richardson Pix-AR
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Why Scots love KILT

Scotland has a traditional cloth called tartan, which is made of wool and has a checkered pattern. Tartan is a symbol of Scottish pride and culture, and is still loved by many people today.Tartan is a type of woolen cloth with a checkered pattern. It is traditionally associated with Scottish clans, and each clan has its own unique tartan pattern. Kilts are made from tartan, and they are a traditional Scottish garment. Tartan has a long history, dating back to the 16th century in the Highlands. Originally, tartan was a symbol of Highland clans, but it eventually became a symbol of Scotland as a whole. However, in the 18th century, Scotland came under British rule, and tartan was banned, leading to its decline. After the ban was lifted in 1782, tartan began to be seen again. During World War I, Scottish soldiers were known for their bravery, and were even called “The Ladies of the Battlefield” by the German army. Today, tartan is used in a variety of ways, including as traditional clothing, fashion, and other items. It is loved all over the world.

The history of sheep breeding

Sheep breeding began around 11,000 years ago for wool and meat. Selective breeding led to different breeds adapted to different environments and purposes. The Industrial Revolution led to increased demand for wool and the development of specialized breeds.


My research is taking a step back to the basics. I have recently been studying the relatively modern period of the 1800s and 1900s, but I believe that a solid foundation in the history of the shirt begins with the tunic , chiton and toga etc. However, as underwear is not as common in warmer regions, I would like to focus my research on clothing from northern regions this time.This research will surely lead to shirts as underwear.