When did Men Start Wearing Pants?

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Scythian archer wearing pants from 500 BCE

Why did humans start wearing pants? To answer this question it’s important to understand two things – first, what were the earliest forms of clothing and how did they evolve into pants and secondly, why did a need for pants develop? It is also helpful to define what is meant by pants – specifically a bifurcated garment for the bottom half of the body which covers from waist to the lower leg. This definition helps to differentiate from the earlier leggings which were often pieces of cloth or skins which were wrapped around the legs and then tied on with straps. Leggings were comprised of two separate garments. Ötzil the Ice Man, perhaps the most famous archaeological find of prehistoric human remains from the northern regions, was found wearing leggings.

From archaeological evidence, it is known that the earliest types of clothing were wrap skirts or aprons for both genders. The oldest known woven example is a fragment made from woven reeds found in Armenia and dating from approximately 2900 BCE. While this is just a fragment the construction hints to what the complete style would have looked like with a waistband woven in the opposite direction from the skirt. This is likely stylistically based off of earlier versions made from hides which do not survive to the modern day. Even earlier examples were of so-called string skirts which were comprised of a waistband with strings or pieces of grass hanging down – these skirts often tied like an apron and depictions can be found in art dating back nearly 20,000 years. In the present day this style is still seen in southeast Asian and other countries, for example, the sarong, a traditionally unisex garment. In colder climates, these could be paired with the previously mentioned leggings and a T-shaped tunic. These are all very simple garment that requires limited construction and materials. [1]

The development of pants came alongside the domestication of horses and served as an indicator of class and profession. People who rode horses needed to have a way of protecting their legs and remaining clothed as a simple wrap garment would not remain on the body. Some early variants involved using the same single pieces of cloth and tying it through the legs to create trousers. Horses were initially domesticated in Central Asia sometime between 3500 and 3000 BCE. Horses were a signifier of prestige, and in many cultures horses and the equipment used in riding them or in using them to drive chariots were included in the tombs of the elite. In these earliest horse riding cultures then trousers, as a form of clothing connected to horses, also served as a sign of prestige. [2]

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How the Rise of Common Languages Developed in the Ancient Near East?

 

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The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder. 

Common languages are an integral part of linguistic development in the ancient world, as often such languages influence subsequent languages and help unify or economically and politically integrate populations over a wide territory. The ancient Near East displays some of the world’s earliest common languages shared by several states and population groups. The earliest lingua franca is perhaps Akkadian.[1] However, it is not clear if this language was spoken and written very widely, as it may have been more utilized by the elites from different regions, such as the political establishments.

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How has the Role of Horses Changed in Human Societies?

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By the 9th Century BC, Neo-Assyrians used horses to replace chariots.

Most studies suggest that domestication of the horse took place along the Eurasian steppe. However, it is not clear where exactly and most likely there were several independent domestication attempts. Interestingly, wild horses before domestication show a wide range of interspecies variation; however, it is believe that only one type of species became domesticated.[1] Most likely, the horse was domesticated by 4000-3500 BC. All domesticate horses are classified as Equus ferus caballus, with Equius ferus as being the species that domesticated horses derive from.[2]

Initial domestication may have been done as a means to develop horses as traction animals, or use in agriculture and plowing, and also for riding.[3] Probably at around the 3rd millennium BC, the horse began to spread across Eurasia and into China, Europe, and India. This could have been associated with the migration of Indo-European and Eurasian groups that were likely migrating across Asia during this time. These populations may have introduced horses, therefore, to new regions such as the Near East, India, and China.

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How did hunting become a symbol of the royalty?

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800px-The_Royal_lion_hunt_reliefs_from_the_Assyrian_palace_at_Nineveh,_dead_lions_and_a_lioness,_about_645-635_BC,_British_Museum_(12255284476)
Scene of dead lions shot on a hunt by an Assyrian king

For centuries, hunting became associated with kingship, where large tracts of land were preserved for the kings’ pleasure as they would hunt a variety of game and even exotic animals imported from abroad. While on the surface this was merely an excess that kings exercised and may have had little to do with running the affairs of the state, from the earliest development of kingship, and until much later periods, hunting was seen as critical for displaying royal authority. Far more than pleasure or sport, hunting had an important social function in establishing not only the kings’ power but demonstrating the vitality of the state.

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What was Plato’s academy and why did it influence Western thought?

.600px-Plato_Silanion_Musei_Capitolini_MC1377The Academy, founded by the philosopher Plato in the early 4th century BCE, was perhaps one of the earliest institutions of higher learning. While it was not like a university where people would enroll and obtain advanced degrees, it functioned as one of the first places dedicated to research into scientific and philosophical questions in Europe. Its main function was to teach Plato’s philosophical understanding, but it also challenged its scholars to develop a new understanding of our universe. This makes it one of the first known institutions that dedicated itself to fundamental discovery about our universe.

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How Did Gold Become Desired by Ancient Civilizations?

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Gold found in Varna Necropolis graves dated to 4600 BC

Gold is first known to have been acquired by ancient human societies in the 4th millennium BC, a time when copper and metals were beginning to be utilized more frequently. The use of gold expanded during this period because pyro-technologies improved. As pyro-technologies improved metals such as gold and copper became more flexible. In fact, when gold appears in the New World, it also appears to be associated with the early development of pyro-technologies, suggesting gold develops early as metallurgy developed. This likely also means gold, and its luster properties, were desired early on by societies able to master pyro-technologies to extract and create gold artifacts. Read more at DailyHistory.org.

What was the evolution of water technologies like?

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Terraces in Arabia

The history of water use and technologies to bring water to human societies is long, particularly in some of the world’s most arid regions where human settled societies first began. Technologies of water also evolved as other technologies developed and social organization and states changed. While we often think of Roman aqueducts as a great marvel, which they were, other complex water technologies, just as complex, existed before. Read more at DailyHistory.org.