Sooner or Later…

Uh oh. I knew it would happen sooner or later. I have had about three days here by myself, with each child away on a different adventure, and no one needing anything from me. I thought I would be spinning for hours and hours, but the one thing that fascinates me more than actually spinning has captured me…researching about spinning!

It all started innocently enough…that curiosity got me wondering…What is the oldest textile that archaeologists have located? I mean, I just wanted to know when the first shirt was made. Really, that’s all.

But when my 20-year old daughter came into my bedroom yesterday, after my three days alone in the house, I’ll confess the room did look like that scene out of A Beautiful Mind, when John Nash’s wife walks into his office….(okay, there were some content differences….mathematical genius vs. curious spinning woman, left alone for three days…)

Scene from "A Beautiful Mind" taken from official movie website

But charts, diagrams, outlines, questions, and pages and pages of written notes were scattered all over my bed (my primary research spot), and a few pages with color-coded highlights were taped together and thumb-tacked to the wall. Josie walked in the room with a puzzled expression (Mom, have you lost your mind?). I found myself backpedaling to find a suitable explanation for all this…..what? all this…curiosity?

“Ummm…I had just been wondering about when people first made shirts?” ending with a question in my voice, hoping she’d accept the logic of one question leading to, well, all this.

Ah, the power of one question! When was the first shirt made? has taken me on a remarkable journey through the history of humanity, and the archeological, theological, scientific, and curious anomalies that accompany such a journey. (This whole line of questioning was begun after discovering the spinning wheel is a modern invention.)

Archeology is most fascinating–not only for what is dug up from the earth to tell us about people and their communities and habits–but also for the drama of pride, family feuds, hurt feelings, and ego of the scientists themselves, and their resultant actions. Like the famous Leakeys–the father, Louis, finds an astounding skull that might be the oldest human fossil….until young son Richard grows up and finds one that might be even older…and for 20 years, a dispute rages about the dates. Hmmmmm…

Or the scientist who made such bold claims about his find before they were verified, that his later embarrassment led him to keep the bones locked in a closet for many years, depriving the scientific community of the value they did hold. It’s riveting, truly.

Have I found the answer to my first question yet? No, I really haven’t. But I have discovered a bunch more questions….

5 thoughts on “Sooner or Later…

  1. Not to throw gasoline on the fire, but your interested in the subject has piqued my own, and I am reminded of a burning question that has plagued me for years… As I’m sure you are aware, much of the Old Testament “laws” were based on ideas to preserve the public health and well being (i.e. Leviticus 11:7-8, re: and inability properly prepare and preserve pork). And so I finally arrive as my question… What could possibly have inspired the law prescribed in Leviticus 19:19, forbidding the wearing of clothing woven of two different threads? If you have stumbled across the answer to this one, you will surely have put my mind at ease after many years of searching!

    1. ohhhhhh…..excellent question!! I was unaware of this particular law, but now as I am reading everything I come across with an eye toward textiles and fiber, you’ve grabbed me with this. Ginny goes to camp in a week, I will have more time for research…..must buy more pencils…..

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