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Archaeologists Discovered The Oldest Stone Sewing Needles In The World Along A Lake Shore In Western Tibet

kichigin19 - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

Along the shores of a lake in western Tibet, archaeologists came across several stone artifacts. They have now identified the objects as needles, and it is believed that they are the oldest stone sewing needles in the world.

In 2020, they had been digging with shovels at Lake Xiada Co when they encountered six stone artifacts around 9,000 years old.

The items were just over one inch long and were made of materials such as serpentine, tremolite, actinolite, and talc. They date back between 7049 and 6568 B.C.E. Only two of them were completely intact.

“The first thought when I discovered these needles in the site was surprise, and I was shocked by their beauty. They were very different from any other stone artifacts because their raw materials were rare…we all believe that they were unique in the Tibetan Plateau,” said Yun Chen, the lead author of the study.

They are possibly the oldest stone sewing needles ever found. The researchers tried recreating the needles using ancient methods. They studied the first needle, which was the longest and thickest out of the six.

The sides of the specimen had deep grooves, which led the researchers to presume that it was scraped and ground into shape.

They proceeded to scrape, grind, and drill slabs of tremolite and obsidian in ways that the ancient people would have done. They successfully reproduced the stone needles but found that the process was much lengthier than making needles from softer bone.

This indicates that ancient people in Tibet used stone needles for more challenging tasks, such as sewing tents.

There were also traces of red paint on the stone needles, suggesting that they possessed religious or spiritual significance. In ancient Tibet, people believed that the color red could give stone tools life and energy while also keeping evil spirits away.

kichigin19 – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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