Skip to comments.Ancient Stinging Nettles Reveal Bronze Age Trade Connections
Posted on 10/06/2012 7:00:45 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
A piece of nettle cloth retrieved from Denmark's richest known Bronze Age burial mound Lusehøj may actually derive from Austria, new findings suggest. The cloth thus tells a surprising story about long-distance Bronze Age trade connections around 800 BC.
2,800 years ago, one of Denmark's richest and most powerful men died. His body was burned. And the bereaved wrapped his bones in a cloth made from stinging nettle and put them in a stately bronze container, which also functioned as urn...
Karin Margarita Frei's work and the grave's archaeological remains suggest that the cloth may have been produced as far away as the Alps.
A bronze container, which had been used as urn, is of Central European origin and probably from the Kärnten-Steiermark region in Austria. The strontium isotope analysis of the cloth indicates that it may very well be from the same region...
The strontium isotope analyses have surprised Ulla Mannering... Central Europeans still used wild plants for textile production during the Bronze Age while at the same time cultivating textile plants such as flax on a large scale. Nettle textiles could apparently compete with textiles made from flax and other materials because top quality nettle fabrics are as good as raw silk.
The strontium isotope analyses also mean that Danish textile history needs revision.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
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Nettles = stinging & itching to me.
And then to have your bones wrapped in them for eternity.
I'd come back and haunt someone, for sure.
Wailing like a banshee.
[singing] everything old is new-ew again...
I suspect that the cloth was actually made from the tufts on the plant after it has flowered, rather than the parts of the plant that have the itch-producing components.
Oops! My supposition was wrong:
It shouldn’t be a surprise that long distance trade was going on in Europe in 800 BC. That scientist should have taken some history courses.