Sunday, July 22, 2012

Medieval Bras: Lacy Lingerie of 15th Century Germany

Four 15th century bras were excavated at Lengberg castle in the East Tyrol in 2008. All had shaped cups, and one was strikingly modern in appearance, so much so that that the find was only published recently, after carbon dating confirmed that it was 15th century in origin and not a 1950s Maidenform longline introduced as a prank by a whimsical field worker.

They were decorated with needle lace. Previously, true needle lace was thought to have appeared in the early 16th century. This find pushes the origin earlier.

That's one of the delights of history and archaeology. Every new day has the potential for a new find or new research to change our understanding of the past.

And push back the dark.

Also, we get to discuss lacy undergarments. For science!

Or perhaps not.  What survives looks like a bra, but it seems plausible  that what survives is only the surviving upper part of a sleeveless fitted shift.


Andy Finkel said...

people frequently underestimate medieval technology.

John Jordan said...