Tag Archives: seashells

158 Seashells Used in Jacket 7,000 Years Ago

Archaeologists studying a skeleton of a French man from more than 7,000 years ago discovered that he was wearing a jacket decorated with sea shells.

The man, between the ages of 20 and 50 and around 5 foot, 5 inches tall, was buried in Avignon, southern France, between 4950 and 4800 BC.

He was found wearing a jacket embroidered with 158 conical shells and 16 red deer teeth.

The scientists from Bordeaux Montaigne University in the south of France said in a research paper, “For the first time in the Mediterranean early Neolithic, this study led to the identification of a garment adorned with sophisticated embroidery using 158 red-coloured shells and 16 red deer canines”.

Although the cloth of the jacket has now withered away, the hard sea shells have remained intact for over 7,000 years.

The seashells were taken from a species called Columbella rustica, a sea snail found across shores in the Mediterranean.

They were sewn onto the jacket in intricate rows in an alternating pattern, with shells facing either up or down.