Is It Hop? Identifying Hop Fibres in a European Historical Context
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Hop (Humulus lupulus L .) is an ancient perennial crop plant, native to the Northern Hemisphere. The archaeological evidence dates back to at least the sixth century ad in Europe. Hop has been used for beer brewing, in sleeping draughts, as bedding and for antibacterial purposes. Less known is that hop fibres have also been used for textiles and paper. However, it is difficult to distinguish hop from other bast fibres. Here, we present a set of fibre features, which, when found together in an archaeological/historical material within a European context, provide a strong indication that the fibres are hop.