Excavations at Areni 1 Cave in the Vayots Dzor region, on Armenia’s border with Iran and Turkey, have unearthed parts of a well-preserved woman’s skirt of woven straw, which has been dated to 3900 BC.

Excavation Director, Pavel Avetisyan, of the Armenian Archaeology and Ethnography Institute, said ‘It is an amazing material with rhythmic colour hues’. Experts are working on its conservation, after which the skirt will be exhibited at the History Museum of Armenia. The same cave, Areni 1, has already produced the world’s oldest enclosed leather shoe — complete with laces — dating from the Chalcolithic period, about 3500 BC, outdating the shoes worn by Ötzi the Iceman by 200 years.


This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 50. Click here to subscribe