Archaeologists in South Africa have discovered what they believe is the world’s oldest mattress, and they didn’t even find it on Craigslist. National Geographic reports a team of researchers at the Sibudu Cave site came across bedding made of reeds and rushes, the most ancient of which is about 77,000-years-old. In addition to being old, the bed would’ve been “very comfortable,” according to the University of Witwatersrand’s Lyn Wadley.
The mattresses were tightly compacted and about a foot thick. The largest bed the team found was 22-square-feet, and according to the researchers, “parents, children, grannies, and all sorts of people” would sleep on it at the same time.
The ancient cave dwellers, like New Yorkers, were terrified of bed bugs. The bedding included a top sheet made of insect-repelling greenery and they “likely used the leaves to counteract body lice.” They also were more hygenic than New Yorkers; the mattresses were “periodically burned” to “limit pests and garbage.”
Beats leaving it in the middle of Second Avenue.
Oldest Known Mattress Found; Slept Whole Family [National Geographic]
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 11, 2011