Was nettle the new black in the Bronze Age?

A 2,800-year-old textile from Denmark, thought to be made of local flax or hemp, is actually made of imported nettle fibres, research published in ‘Nature’s’ new online journal shows. Physicist Bodil Holst and researchers from Center for Textile research (CTR) re-analyzed the textile using polarization microscopy and strontium isotope analysis. Their results suggest that the Lusehøj textile is made of non-local nettle fibres, probably from Austria. As flax agriculture was known in the region at the time, this shows that wild nettle fibres were deliberately chosen over flax fibres. The study challenges previous assumptions that textile production in the Bronze Age in northern Europe was solely based on local and non-specialized production.

Read the full press release from University of Copenhagen



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