The Indigo Dye that is used for jeans today was used by the pre-Hispanic communities about 6000 years ago.
- The researchers found indigo dye in 6000 years-old materials.
- The study was made in Huaca Prieta
- They used highly sensitive equipment for the research.
- The source of the blue pigment was unknown
- The fabric maintained very well over the time
The source of the blue pigments was unknown until this recent discovery. The findings were published in Science Advances. The research was based on an analysis of blue pigments in a piece of cotton dated 6000 found on Huaca Prieta, located on the north coast of Peru.
The researchers used equipment that is highly sensitive which is known as high-performance liquid chromatography for determining that is was a plant-based form of indigo.
Dr. Jeffrey Splitstoser, the George Washington University archeologist that led the study, said that using the indigo for dyeing was a very complex process.
He also mentioned that this discovery shed some light on the history of this community.
This study reveals that if it weren’t for this community the today’s jeans wouldn’t exist.
“We in the West typically skip over the accomplishments of the ancient people of the western hemisphere … but in this case, the cotton domesticated by the people of South America and Mesoamerica form the basis of the cotton we wear today”, completes the Dr. Splitstoser.
Huaca Prieta has a unique nature site.
This site was first excavated in the 1940s but before that is served as a ceremonial mound for the Peru community. The site is famous for the oldest cotton fabric that was decorated with art recognizable for the Americas
The source of the blue pigment was unknown. Another interesting fact about this fabric is the way it resisted for almost 6000 years.
The researchers mentioned that it is very unusual to find a so well preserved material. The combination of the dryness is the factor that saved the fabric from moisture and oxygen, preserving it until now.
Dr. Splitstoser’s colleagues had examined eight samples of material from this site and found out that five of them contained this indigo dye.He also mentioned that the lack of indigo in those three samples might have been either washed out over time or degraded due to the age.
How do you think the indigo dye resisted so well over the time?
Image Source: Wikipedia