Why Did Humans Start Wearing Pants? Archaeologists Say the Answer Is in Ancient China


Here’s an interesting question for you to ponder: When and why did human beings start wearing pants? Ever thought about that before?

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Author Sarah Scoles says that all signs point to a 2014 archaeological discovery in China’s Tarim Basin. That year, members of the German Archaeological Institute unearthed what is believed to be the oldest pair of pants ever discovered. The trousers are thought to be 3,000 years old and are made of wool.

The pants were found in a cemetery along with some other artifacts that may give us a clue as to why the historical person wore the pants. The objects included horse-riding gear, a wooden bit, a bow, and an axe. The belief is that the person who wore the pants hunted for food, and wore the pants to be more comfortable while riding a horse.

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The practice of wearing pants on horseback made its way into Greek and Roman culture, as hunters in those civilizations also grew to want comfortable clothing that would help them avoid chafing. Ötzi, the iceman discovered in Europe in 1991, was found wearing goatskin leggings, but it looks like the clothing dug up in China are the earliest pants known to man.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

So next time you pull on a pair of blue jeans or cargo pants, remember that you are following in the footsteps of our ancestors from 3,000 years ago.

h/t: Mental Floss