The world’s oldest leather shoe

Published on June 10th, 2010 | by Admin


The world’s oldest known leather shoe, which dates back 5,500 years, has been found in a cave in Armenia.

Stuffed with grass, perhaps as an insulator or an early shoe tree, the 5,500-year-old moccasin-like shoe was found exceptionally well preserved—thanks to a surfeit of sheep dung—during a recent dig in an Armenian cave.

About as big as a current women’s size seven (U.S.), the shoe was likely tailor-made for the right foot of its owner, who could have been a man or a woman—not enough is known about Armenian feet of the era to say for sure.

Made from a single piece of cowhide—a technique that draws premium prices for modern shoes under the designation “whole cut”—the shoe is laced along seams at the front and back, with a leather cord.

“The hide had been cut into two layers and tanned, which was probably quite a new technology,” explained Ron Pinhasi, co-director of the dig, from University College Cork in Ireland.

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