Filmscreening ‘The Invention of the Trousers’, German Centre Beijing, 20 June 2019, 7pm

Join the film screening & discussion with researcher and filmmaker Prof. Dr. Mayke Wagner, German Archaeological Institute (DAI). 

In westernmost China, in the Tarim Basin, extreme aridity preserved clothes and equipment made of organic material from a remote past. Chinese archaeologists discovered in 2003 near the city of Turfan a tomb where a man dressed in trousers and a poncho, boots and bands, was put to rest 3000 years ago. An international team of scientists comprising archaeologists, fashion designers, geoscientists, chemists and conservators worked five years to decode age, material and construction of the Turfan man’s outfit, as well as the environmental conditions during his lifetime.

To test their hypotheses they reproduced the trousers as true as possible to the original. The scientists advanced into an unexplored area of clothing and fashion history. Because with these oldest known preserved trousers of the world, nothing is as they expected it to be.

This 46-min film presents the adventures of the researchers, the obstacles they encountered and the discoveries they made during their search for answers.

Prof. Dr. Mayke Wagner is Scientific Director of the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI), Head of its Beijing Branch Office, and Honorary Professor of Free University Berlin. She is an expert in East Asian Archaeology covering topics from Stone Age to Medieval times in China, Japan and Eastern Siberia; with particular interest in man-environment-interaction and the history of knowledge.

SP China Alumni e.V. supports the event with some snacks and drinks.

Date: 20 June 2019, 19:00h

Venue: German Centre Beijing | DRC Liangmaqiao 11th Floor, Unit 1101A, DRC Liangmaqiao Diplomatic Office Building, 19 Dongfang East Road, Chaoyang District, 100600 Beijing, PR China

Registration: Please use the registration form on the German Centre website or send an email to