Science Questions

Were we wearing clothes as we moved out of Africa?

Sun, 24th May 2009

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Question

George Northampton asked:

Were we wearing clothes as we moved out of Africa?

Answer

Nina Jablonski: Oh! But we werenít. About 50,000 years ago we were not wearing clothes. We probably had the ability to drape some skins over our bodies, but we certainly didnít have sewn clothes until about 14,000 years ago. So basically we were mostly naked; and occasionally covering ourselves up. One of the ways in which we kept warm also was we had a vigorous shivering response, so we would be able to huddle together, and shiver together to stay warm at night. But clothes came very late in human evolution.   

Chris Smith:  Ideal for The Naked Scientists.

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