Leather Shoe – 5,500 years old
A perfectly preserved shoe, 1,000 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and 400 years older than Stonehenge in the UK, has been found in a cave in Armenia. The 5,500 year old shoe, the oldest leather shoe in the world, is made from a single piece of cowhide, cut into two layers, tanned and laced. It contained grass, although the archaeologists were uncertain as to whether this was to keep the foot warm or to maintain the shape of the shoe. “It is not known whether the shoe belonged to a man or woman,” said lead author of the research “We thought initially that the shoe and other objects were about 600-700 years old because they were in such good condition,” said Dr Pinhasi. “It was only when the material was dated by the two radiocarbon laboratories in Oxford, UK, and in California, US that we realised that the shoe was older by a few hundred years than the shoes worn by Ötzi, the Iceman.” Three samples were taken in order to determine the absolute age of the shoe and all three tests produced the same results. Interestingly enough the shoe very much resembles a traditional Armenian shoe known as “charokh” a type of moccasin, still in popular use in Armenia.