What Kind of Clothing Did Early Humans Wear?

Though it is difficult to find physical evidence of the kinds of clothing early humans wore, paleontologists believe the first clothes were made of animal hides and furs. A 2011 study of clothing lice indicate humans first donned clothing about 170,000 years ago.

The earliest humans arose in Africa, where the climate was warm. Even though these early humans had little body hair, much like modern humans, they did not require clothing. As humans began to migrate northward into colder areas, clothing became necessary to protect them from the elements.

As humans learned to use basic tools, clothing became more sophisticated. The first structured clothing was probably a tunic made with scraped hides laced together with strips of leather. Actual specimens of early clothing are hard to find because the soft materials decay easily, but cave paintings, carvings and other indirect evidence provide clues to how long-ago humans covered themselves.