Saturday, March 14, 2009

Indian Silk from Indus Valley?

Contrary to the belief that silk originated from ancient China only, researchers have found more compelling evidence for independent development of silk in the Indus Valley Civilization at Harappa (now in Pakistan).

A recent paper published in the Archaeometry Journal by I.L.Good, J.M.Kenoyer and R.H.Meadow, highlights new evidence based on microscopic analysis of archaeological thread fragments found inside copper alloy ornaments at Harappan sites that yielded silk fibres dating to 2400-2000 B.C. This important discovery challenges the notion of sericulture being an exclusive chinese invention.

The silk seems to have come from silk moths native to south east Asia (species of Antharaea), while chinese silk comes from the domesticated silk moth (Bombyx Mori)

For more details visit http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121646748/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

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