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600-Year-Old Medieval Bras

A revolutionary discovery! Surprisingly modern-looking linen bra dating back 600 years has been found in a medieval castle in Austria. Fashion experts describe the find as surprising because the bra had commonly been thought to be only little more than 100 years old as women abandoned the tight corset.

Working with a team of her colleagues, the University of Innsbruck archaeologist Beatrix Nutz recentlypublicized her discovery of several linen bras and some underwear in a medieval castle. "We didn't believe it ourselves," she said. "From what we knew, there was no such thing as bralike garments in the 15th century." Nutz has presented academic papers about her discovery, and even analyzed the underwear for DNA.
Four bras in total were discovered mingled among dirt, straw, leather and other fabric scraps in Lemberg Castle in Tyrol, Austria. Four linen textiles resemble modern-time bras with distinct cups and one in particular looks like today's version, with two broad shoulder straps and a possible back strap, not preserved but indicated by partially torn edges of the cups onto which it was attached. One specimen in particular "looks exactly like a (modern) brassiere," says Hilary Davidson, fashion curator for the London Museum. "These are amazing finds.
The researchers also found linen underwear in the castle, Nutz told the AP. But that garment would have to belong to a man — medieval women went bare under their skirts. Does that mean the middle ages were actually a more liberal time than the corset-obsessed eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? 

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