Is this the oldest shoe in the world?

11 June 2010

Archaeologists have discovered what they say is the world’s oldest known leather shoe. The shoe was perfectly preserved under layers of sheep dung and is made of cowhide and tanned with oil from a plant or vegetable. It is believed to be about 5,500 years old, older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, scientists say. Leather laces criss-cross through numerous leather eyelets, and it was worn on the right foot. There is no sign of the left.

These were probably quite expensive shoes, made of leather, very high quality, said one of the lead scientists, Gregory Areshian, of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles.

The shoe was discovered by scientists excavating in a huge cave in Armenia, part of a treasure trove of artifacts they found that experts say provide unprecedented information about an important and sparsely documented era: the Chalcolithic period or copper age, when humans are believed to have invented the wheel, domesticated horses and produced other innovations.

Leather shoe believed to be 5,500 years old

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