This Shoe is Older than Stonehenge

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Archaeologists have discovered what they say is the world's oldest leather shoe, dating back to around 3,500 B.C.  The shoe has laces, is approximately a woman's size 7, and is an orphan: no left shoe was found.

It was discovered during the excavation of a huge cave in Armenia, in the midst of a treasure trove of artifacts that offer clues into life in the Copper Age.  During that period, 6,000 years ago, humans also invented the wheel and domesticated the horse. New York Times science writer Pam Belluck discusses the shoe and how it was accidentally preserved for so long.

Below: Photos of the shoe and the cave where it was found in Armenia

Mr. Boris Gasparian, Institute of Archaeology and Enthography, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia
The perfectly preserved 5,500 year old shoe
Dr. Alexi Smith, University of Connecticut
The cave where the 5,500 year old shoe was found

Mr Boris Gasparian, co-director and Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia.  Dr Ron Pinhasi, lead author and co-director of the research and University College Cork, and Professor Daniel Adler, University of Connecticut, USA

Dr Alexi Smith, University of Connecticut
Mr. Hovhannes Partevyan measures the shoe

Mr. Boris Gasparian, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia, Mr. Hovhannes Partevyan, Armenian host who is measuring the shoe, Dr. Ron Pinhasi, University College Cork, Ireland and Dr Guy Bar-Oz, Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Israel

Mr. Boris Gasparian, Institute of Archaeology and Enthography, National Academy of Sciences, Armenia
The cave pit where the 5,500 old shoe was found in Armenia
Mr. Boris Gasparian, Institute of Archaeology and Enthography, National Academy of Sciences, Republic of Armenia
The preserved 5,500 year old shoe
Map showing where shoe was found

Produced by:

Posey Gruener

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