Dating indigo people
In a new study, researchers picked up signals of the chemical compounds indigotin and indirubin, the key components of indigo dye, they report today in .Indigo was one of the most prized dyes in the ancient world and was used in places ranging from China to Egypt to South America.In most places, 6000 years would be plenty of time for cotton fabric to decay and disappear. Thanks to the region’s arid climate, several decorative textiles survived for thousands of years until archaeologists dug them up in the 1940s.
The textile-makers from Huaca Prieta used locally grown cotton and also milkweed fiber.Arabel Fernández López, a project conservator, examines a scrap of Huaca Prieta fabric.When the cotton pieces came out of the ground, they were a dirty, sooty color, Splitstoser said.Some of the fabric also looked as if it had been soaked with water and squeezed out.[Read full story on the indigo-dyed fabrics]Multiple plain-weave fabrics are sewn together in a bundle, including one scrap decorated with indigo blue stripes and another scrap decorated with indigo shapes of indeterminate form.
The cotton pieces were found embedded in a concrete-like material that made up the Huaca Prieta temple.