Researchers found yarn that’s over 3,000 years old, because knitters never quit

Recently, a team of research divers found a 300-year-old cheese in a shipwreck, which was surprising because should cheese really be able to last that long? The latest eyebrow-raising ancient discovery is an intact ball of yarn that’s over 3,000 years old, making it the oldest textile find for all of the Bronze Age. (That’s 2500-800 BC and generally centered in Europe, for those of us who are dusty on our world history.)

Dug up by researchers at Must Farm, a site in Cambridge, England, the tiny ball of thread has been so carefully extracted that you can see the individual lines of thread. (As opposed to just one amorphous lump.) The obviously very fragile nature of the yarn makes its relatively intact state close to miraculous. After all, the Bronze Age was named so for the variety of metal tools that survived the time period; there’s no comparable Paper Age or Wood Age or well, Yarn Age, though textiles from many cultures have made it through the long wait of history.

Must Farm has been described as “Britain’s Pompeii” because of the circumstances of its disappearance: Much of the site consists of burned settlements, which then sank into the boggy land and remained remarkably well-preserved over the years. This yarn was found among other artifacts like a spindle of thread and of course, pottery and stone tools.

You can check out more of the Must Farm finds on their Facebook page; what unlikely survivor of the sands of time shall we find next?