I've wanted to make a replica of this prehistoric plaid textile since I read about it in "The Mummies of Urumchi" (the book is in the left sidebar). It's a twill plaid that was found in the ancient Halstatt salt mines of Austria. It dates from about 1200 B.C. and demonstrates that the Celtic culture (hence, the Celtic tartan) had its beginnings far from Scotland. "The Mummies of Urumchi" were a Caucasian people who actually lived in China. Textiles and artifacts from that site are dated c. 2000 B. C.
You can see the original scrap of textile in the lower left hand corner of the replica made by "Mummy" author, Elizabeth Wayland Barber. I ordered fingerling weight Zephyr wool/silk yarn from Halcyon a couple of weeks ago so that I could work on this over my vacation. The Halstatt plaid most certainly was not a wool/silk blend but I really love this stuff (it's dreamy soft and has a beautiful sheen to it) - and anyway my intention is to copy the colors, weight, and weave pattern as best I can. (Maybe someone can tell me why the green hue shows up best with a flash?)
I've figured the color sequence of the warp and measured a length long enough for a scarf.
And by the end of the day yesterday I'd threaded just over half the 352 warp ends. I hope to finish the threading today and start weaving my prehistoric Halstatt plaid! It will be exciting (for me, anyway) to see how the plaid weaves in.
I just have to share this next photo that I took a couple of days ago of an American Silkworm moth, samia Cecropia, that had chosen to rest awhile at my mom's house. We'd never seen anything like it and had to look it up. He (or she?) has a wing span of six inches.