Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

True Medieval Bra and Underwear? -- What do you think?

Photo By University Innsbruck Archeological Institute
I'm sure recently you heard about the discovery of the medieval bra and underwear found in the Austrian castle. If you haven't heard... well then I'm telling you now. Archaeologists from the University of Innsbruck found (in 2008--only now hitting headlines) what appears to be several linen bras and a pair of underwear while excavating at Lemburg Castle in Tyrol. They were stuffed inside a vault in the south wing, along with old shoes, a codpiece and some shirts--one can only imagine what would possess someone to shove these items into a vault... The mind does come up with several fun ideas!

Perhaps two young lovers were in the act when a sound alerted them to someone's approach. Not having enough time to dress they shoved their garments into the vault and ran naked--but their were several bras, perhaps it was a situation even more scandalous!

Or a maid had stolen the items, hoping not to get caught, she hid them to pick them up later but never got the chance...

Why do you think they were stored there?

All right, back to whether or not they are bra and panties...

Photo By University Innsbruck Archeological Institute
Now, the thing is... We don't really know if these are bras and underwear. There is no doubt, since they did a carbon dating, that the garments are from some 600 years ago. The underwear resembles a string bikini -- not unlike what was worn by some men. And the "bra" itself, designed of linen, lace and other adornments. There looks to be a spot where a backstrap could have been--torn edges make it seems so. But if you look around the front at the bottom of the piece, it is also torn--looks as though it has come off of a corset or kirtle--which was a long tightly fitted smock that was worn under gowns, sometimes tied tight to give support.

What do you think?


Elizabeth Bailey said...

Heard about this but hadn't seen the pics until now. Looks like a hoax to me - like Piltdown Man, which was also very convincing to the archaeologists. As you say, looks like a string bikini bottom. The bra looks far too modern to be true. People were fooled by the real fairies hoax too, and there have been numerous egyptian mummies etc which were hoaxes. It would take more than carbon dating to convince me, I think.

Eliza Knight said...

I don't think its a bra and panties either... The women didn't wear underwear--what's more tantalizing than that? lol Men however, did wear things like that, especially serfs while farming in the summer because it was hot as heck out there. In fact, Ancient Egymptians, Mayans, Cavemen, all wore loincloths.

As for the bra, I think it came off of some other garment, like a kirtle.

Thanks for commenting!!!!

Elizabeth Chadwick said...

The pants probably belonged to a man - there are several illustrations from the same dateline showing the very garment being worn by males. The Bra? There are some very fetching bathmaid chemises with spaghetti straps that might indicate a similar garment, but four bras were found altogther including some that looked like 'shirts with bags.' All told there were 3,000 pieces in the find - interesting. I am open minded. It actually wouldn't surprise me to find that the bra existed, but I need more hard evidence and assessment beyond the tabloid.

Eliza Knight said...

Thanks for posting Elizabeth! I agree with you, we really do need more evidence! I would like to actually visit and observe the items in person.