News: Why Did Vikings Have ‘Allah’ Woven into Funeral Clothes?

Researchers in Sweden have found Arabic characters woven into burial garments from Viking boat graves. The discovery raises new questions about the influence of Islam in Scandinavia.

The clothing was kept in storage for more than 100 years, dismissed as typical examples of Viking Age funeral clothes. But a new investigation into the garments – found in ninth and tenth-century graves – has thrown up groundbreaking insights into contact between the Viking and Muslim worlds. Patterns woven with silk and silver thread have been found to spell the words ‘Allah’ and ‘Ali’.

The breakthrough was made by textile archaeologist Annika Larsson of Uppsala University while re-examining the remnants of burial dress from male and female boat and chamber graves originally excavated in Birka and Gamla Uppsala in Sweden in the late nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries.

To read about this discovery in full, visit the BBC website.

 

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News: World’s Oldest Dress Found to Date Back 5,500 Years

National Geographic - Oldest Dress

An Egyptian garment has been unveiled as the world’s oldest dress after radiocarbon dating confirmed it was up to 5,500 years old.

The Tarkhan dress was sent to the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology at University College London in the early 1990s after being found in an Egyptian tomb. Left in a bundle with rags, it was only in 1977 when experts found it by chance.

Radiocarbon dating by the University of Oxford last year confirmed that the dress is between 5,100 and 5,500 years old.

For more information, visit the Independent website or the Petrie Museum website (which includes instructions on how to make your own Tarkhan dress!).