Taking a Closer Look at a Pair of 1,600 Year-Old Socks
They don’t look 1,600 years old, but they don’t look new either. And they’re bright red! I don’t expect something that’s over 1,000 years old to look so vibrant. Maybe, too, it’s the size. They’re so long that they look as if they could fit Shaquille O’Neal’s famous size 23 feet—if his feet were also really narrow. After I incredulously posted this image on Facebook this past week and remarked on the antiquity’s unique qualities, a friend most succinctly responded with just: #ancientaliens. - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.
Photo: Victoria and Albert Museum
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Particularly intriguing about these “very useful examples” is the technique used to construct these red wool socks. Called nålbindning, or single-needle knitting, this time-consuming process required only a single thread. The technique was frequently used for close-fitting garments for the head, feet and hands because of its elastic qualities. Primarily from prehistoric times, nålbindning came before the two-needle knitting that’s standard today; each needle was crafted from wood or bone that was “flat, blunt and between 6 -10 cm long, relatively large-eyed at one end or the eye is near the middle.”
What’s bugging me about this article is the continued mention of #ancientaliens as the explanation for why the socks are so large and so oddly shaped. Really, guys? The ancient Egyptians frequently dressed and “fed” statues of people and gods, who could often be depicted with animal features, and the feet these socks were made for look particularly birdlike to me. Dismissing the owner as an “alien” discounts that the ancient Egyptians were a people who could craft elaborate and amazingly constructed things like these socks, and ignores the history and cultural significance of this artifact in favor of a silly explanation. These socks could have been worn by a god or a guy with pigeon toes, but we may never know if everyone labels unfamiliar and strange objects of another culture as “alien” and leaves it at that.
MJ dealing truths. History Channel’s BS is funny, but not as cool as the actual possibilities of 1,600 year old socks by far.