Pundit Planet Bureau of Really Old Shoes

Oldest-shoe-leather

A woman’s size four, it was made from a single piece of cured cowhide a thousand years before the Great Pyramid of Giza was built – and four hundred years earlier than the erection of Stonehenge.

June 2010, : The oldest known footwear in the world are 8,000 year old makeshift sandals made of plant material that were found in a cave in Missouri about fifty years ago.

Not much is known about the people who wore the shoe but it is thought they would have been some of the earliest farmers or nomadic tribes that used the oldest-shoecave as a base.

“It was only when the material was dated by the two radiocarbon laboratories in Oxford and California that we realised that the shoe was older by a few hundred years than the shoes worn by Otzi, the Iceman.”

The caves is 4,500 ft above sea level, very rocky and temperatures vary form -10 C in winter to 40 C in summer.

A woman’s size four, it was made from a single piece of cured cowhide a thousand years before the Great Pyramid of Giza was built – and four hundred years earlier than the erection of Stonehenge.

Amazingly, it is still in perfect condition – even including the laces – thanks to the stable, cool and dry conditions of the Armenian cave in which it was found.

“It is an amazing find. We thought we were looking at something just a few hundred years old but it turns out to be oldest shoe ever found.”

— Archaeologist Dr Ron Pinhasi

It would have fitted the foot of a woman today – although it may have been worn by a man at the time, claim the researchers.

Dr Ron Pinhasi, an archaeologist at the University College Cork, said: “It is an amazing find. We thought we were looking at something just a few hundred years old but it turns out to be oldest shoe ever found.”

The shoe was packed with grass, but it is unclear whether this was to keep the foot warm or to maintain the shape of the shoe, much like the modern shoe-tree.

Other items discovered in the cave in the Vayotz Dzor province on the Iranian border included large containers, many of which held well-preserved wheat and barley, apricots and other edible plants.

The floor was covered by a thick layer of sheep dung which acted as a solid seal over the objects, keeping them beautifully over thousands of years.

Dr Pinhasi, said: “It was only when the material was dated by the two radiocarbon laboratories in Oxford and California that we realised that the shoe was older by a few hundred years than the shoes worn by Otzi, the Iceman.”

Otzi lived about 5,300 years ago and his mummified remains were found in 1991 in the Otztal Alps, on the border between Austria and Italy.

For the latest discovery, found under a pot, the archaeologists cut two small strips of leather from it and sent one to Oxford University and the other to the University of California…(read more)

Telegraph



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