Ancient or just old?

Nick

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@Smokey and I found this (and left this) at an archeological site in the Bears Ears area last weekend. I'd like to believe it's 800+ years old and used to be part of some clothing or a handle for something, but it's hard to say. Anyone out there care to share their opinion? That's my big fat finger for scale, which actually throws the scale off a bit. Click for full size image.

 

Outdoor_Fool

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What's your rationale for thinking it is so old?

What were the conditions where it was found (e.g. shaded, dry, etc)?
 

Nick

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What's your rationale for thinking it is so old?

What were the conditions where it was found (e.g. shaded, dry, etc)?

It was in a well-used site with quite a few structures that is totally sheltered in an alcove. The site included a kiva, many square rooms and probably a half dozen granaries. It never gets wet in there and only gets direct sun in the winter time. It was tucked up under a rock mostly out of sight. The look of the weave doesn't look like anything I've seen commercially.
 

Udink

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No way to know for certain but to carbon date it (or perhaps identify the material under a microscope?). A very quick and anecdotal Google search comparing prehistoric Z-twist and S-twist cordage found on Cedar Mesa seems to indicate that Z-twist is more common, and the cordage in your photo is Z-twist.
 

Nick

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Nice, thanks Dennis. I know there's not a good way to know for sure, so that anecdotal/opinion based stuff is just what I was looking for.
 

Jmr

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Very cool looking find if ancient but hard to tell for sure, would a rope such as this from Cedar Mesa be made from yucca fiber or some other plant?
 
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