Archaeologists have found a bunch of miniature wooden figurines still weaving at their tiny looms after 2,o00 years.
The miniature scene, made up of 15 tiny weavers, was discovered inside a small compartment, below the tomb of a woman called Wan Dinu who died around 2,000 years ago in China’s southwestern Sichuan province.
The weavers were found along with four tiny looms, a number of weaving accessories and were carved in the act of warping, weft winding and rewinding. Standing just 25cm tall, each figurine also has a name written on it, suggesting they might represent real-life weavers.
As well as being absolutely adorable, researchers have said the figurines provide the earliest evidence on record of looms that could be used to weave complex patterns.
The world’s oldest pattern loom
Aside from just being plain adorable, these figurines actually hold valuable information. Originally found in 2013, the researchers now say they provide the first direct evidence of pattern-weave textile production in ancient China – the missing technological link responsible for some of the most remarkable Han Dynasty silks, and ultimately for the invention of the draw loom which spread throughout Persia, India and Europe.