This Is What the Oldest Shoe in the World Looks Like. It Was Made 5,500 Years Ago!

This leather shoe combines in one story such things as sheep excrements, wine, a mysterious cave and exotic Armenia. It was really carefully made and its owner must have been a very important person since he/she wore such an impressive piece of cow skin.

‘I am looking for a handsome boy wearing trendy shoes.’

The main character of this story, namely the shoe in the photo, was discovered by archaeologists exploring caves in Armenia. They had been working for some time in Areni-1 and had already found traces of an ancient vineyard. Both the shoe and the vineyard were estimated to be approximately 5,500 years old. We don’t know whether the owner of the shoes also owned the vineyard. Still, he/she must have been an important person. The shoe was made of a single piece of cow’s skin and it was made with a lot of precision. But the key thing in this story is not the shoe, but… excrements.

This Is What the Oldest Shoe in the World Looks Like. It Was Made 5,500 Years Ago!
Pinhasi et al./journals.plos

 

Salutary dung

Although t he show was made of cow’s skin, the excrements it was covered with came from sheep. And here we need to be really grateful to the dung as it protected the footwear and it didn’t rot away. Who would ever suspect sheep’s dung to be so beneficial?
Our ancient shoe was also filled with grass but archaeologists are not able to establish whether it was for greater comfort or just to keep the shoe in its original shape when it was not used. We definitely know that the shoe was used a lot and its owner walked very long distances on everyday basis.

This Is What the Oldest Shoe in the World Looks Like. It Was Made 5,500 Years Ago!
Pinhasi et al./journals.plos

 

 

Shoes and our slim legs

It’s worth mentioning here that people probably started wearing footwear about 40,000 years ago, which resulted in anatomic changes of our feet and generally lower limbs. Unfortunately we haven’t got such old exhibits. The second oldest shoe was found in the Alps and it’s about 5,000 years old. It belonged to a caveman called Ötzi. And that’s what it looks like:

This Is What the Oldest Shoe in the World Looks Like. It Was Made 5,500 Years Ago!
Pinhasi et al./journals.plos

 

Do you remember your favorite pair of shoes?