Rare Nepali textile finds suggest Silk Road extended further south than previously thought
|Fine open tabby of silk sample with irregular red colour |
[Credit: Margarita Gleba]
"The data reinforce the notion that instead of being isolated and remote, Upper Mustang was once a small, but important node of a much larger network of people and places. These textiles can further our understanding of the local textile materials and techniques, as well as the mechanisms through which various communities developed and adapted new textile technologies to fit local cultural and economical needs."
The cloth remains are of further significance as very few contemporary textile finds are known from Nepal. The dry climate and high altitude of the Samdzong tomb complex, at an elevation of 4000 m, favoured the exceptional preservation of the organic materials.
|Gold/silver mask believed to cover the face of the adult in the coffin |
of the Samdzong 5 tomb complex, Upper Mustang, Nepal
[Credit: M. Aldenderfer]
Samdzong 5 is one of ten shaft tombs excavated by Mark Aldenderfer, (University of California Merced and Visiting Scholar of the McDonald Institute). The tombs were only exposed to view in 2009 following a seismic event that calved off the façade of the cliff, having been originally carved out in prehistory from the soft conglomerate rock of a massive cliff face.
The dye analyses were conducted by Ina Vanden Berghe at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage.
The full article can be accessed here.
Source: University of Cambridge [April 01, 2016]