As with flax, used to make linen, the fibre from the cannabis plant can be used for clothes and other textiles. Hemp, of course, has also been used for rope production right into modern times.
“Hemp has a fibre that can be used like flax, but it is a little coarser,” explains Vedeler.
The challenge for the archaeologists is that ancient textiles made of hemp and flax tend to rot, and thus are rarely well preserved. This makes it hard to say how common it was to use these textiles. Archaeologists know more about the use of wool because its fibres preserve better than plant fibres.