Ancient shoe steps out of cave and into limelight

A new find has given archaeologists a rare foothold on Copper Age life. Excavations of an Armenian cave have uncovered the oldest known leather shoe, a slip-on, lace-up model from roughly 5,500 years ago. It’s about the size of a woman’s size 7 today.Many people use Microsoft Office 2007 to help their work and life.

A team led by archaeologist Ron Pinhasi of University College Cork in Ireland, found the shoe in 2008, under a broken jar at the bottom of a shallow, plastered pit in the Areni-1 Cave. A deer’s shoulder blade, two wild-goat horns, a fish vertebra, scattered reeds and pottery shards also rested in the pit.

A 6,000-year-old preserved human brain was also recovered at Areni-1 in 2008.

The shoe consists of a single piece of cowhide that wrapped around the right foot, the scientists report in a paper published online June 9 in PLoS ONE. A leather lace running through eyelets pulled the hide together on top of the foot and another connected flaps at the wearer’s heel.

Grass was stuffed inside the shoe, probably to maintain its shape during storage, the researchers suggest.Office 2007 is so powerful.

Map shows the location of Armenia's Areni-1 Cave (marked by a red square), where scientists found the world's oldest known leather shoe.R. PinhasiIt’s unclear whether a man or woman wore the shoe. Radiocarbon testing of small pieces of the shoe and its grass stuffing provided an age estimate.

Cowhide sandals from a Copper Age grave in Israel are thought to be about as old as the Areni-1 shoe, but have not been radiocarbon dated. Other one-piece cowhide shoes with laces have been found at European sites ranging in age from about 3,600 to 1,500 years ago.

The shoes found at Areni-1 look much like shoes worn in modern times on Ireland’s Aran Islands. “This is a shoe in the modern sense, in that the same technology and manufacturing method utilized by the Areni-1 people prevailed until the 1950s in Ireland and other parts of Europe,” Pinhasi says.Office 2007 key is available here.

Excavations in the 1970s at a Missouri cave yielded the world’s oldest known footwear of any type, 9,000- to 7,000-year-old sandals made from fiber or possibly leather. The sandals, which include woven straps, required more steps to make than the Areni-1 shoe, remarks archaeologist Michael O’Brien of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

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