Armenia Produces a Shoe Sensation
Even shoe designer Mahnolo Blahnik is agog. The world's oldest leather shoe, found in the mountains of Armenia, bears an "astonishing" resemblance to the footwear of today, Blahnik told National Geographic. The lace-up, cowhide shoe was left behind by a person some 5,500 years ago and corresponds to a modern woman’s US size seven.
The gender of the foot is not known, but Irish biological anthropologist Ron Pinhasi, who led the research, believes that it is more likely to have been worn by a woman. (The shoe is a second "world's oldest" find for the
University College Cork scientist. Pinhasi last
year unearthed remains of the world's oldest brain as well. ) The Carrie Bradshaw of the time apparently took good care of her
footwear -- the shoe has been tanned with vegetable oil and stuffed with
grass. Found in a cave along with a child’s skull, containers of barley, wheat and apricot, the shoe offers a glimpse into pre-historic life and fashion in what is now Armenia. Scientists have a thick cover of sheep dung to thank for the shoe's preservation.
Giorgi Lomsadze is a journalist based in Tbilisi, and author of Tamada Tales.
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