Photo credit: Aiwok

Animal skins are all very well for cave dwellers, but you want a more up-to-date look. You want that chic woven-fabric style of clothes that the cool tribes are wearing. Weaving first appeared at least 27,000 years ago. The earliest evidence comes not from clothes, which have long rotted away, but from impressions left in clay pots. The impressions show a wide variety of weaving styles to choose from. This discovery pushed back the debut of weaving and changed our view of some iconic ancient statuettes forever.

Venus figurines come from the late Paleolithic era and show enormously fat bodies, generally those of women. While you may wish to copy their body shape, it is their hats which have caught researchers’ attention. Before the discovery of ancient weaving, it was thought the complex patterns adorning the Venuses’ heads were elaborate hairstyles. Now they are being seen as early woven hats like a modern beanie.[2]


Photo credit: Michelle Langley, Australian National University

Gold and silver are among the easiest metals to work. They melt at low temperatures, can be beaten into intricate shapes, and can be found simply lying about in streambeds without the need to dig deep into the Earth. But because they are so soft, they have few practical uses. Their beauty made them perfect for jewelry, however. The oldest-known gold artifact in the world dates from 4500 BC and is a tiny bead to be hung on a string.

If gold is too modern for you, then you may want to look further back for inspiration. Jewelry has a history that vastly predates metal use—and may not even be exclusive to humans. A set of eagle talons found among Neanderthal remains from 140,000 years ago show marks from having been cut into jewelry. In Kenya, people wore drilled discs of ostrich egg 40,000 years ago. In East Timor, at around the same period, people sported seashells, the remains of which bear red ocher that may have come from their body paint. In a cave in South Africa, tiny 75,000-year-old shells with holes were found grouped together. They were probably hung in bunches as a necklace.[1]

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