An ancient leather shoe emerged from the past. A group of speleologists from Cheshire, in England, has brought to light the finding after an expedition inside a cobalt mine. The mine was closed off in the first half of the 19th century, when extraction activities stopped. The shoe could have been used by one of the workers, according to experts, and came to us today in good conditions thanks to the lack of oxygen. A unique situation, that led the speleologists to compare the mine to a “time capsule”.
Ancient leather shoe
The mine is located in Cheshire, in the town of Alderley Edge. The date of mining activities can be estimated by the graffiti lefts by a miner with a candle on a stone: WS, the initials, and the date: August 20th, 1810. Probably that’s the date when the mine was closed off. Among the objects brought back by speleologists were a bowl and a leather shoe.
As the experts told The Guardian, “this mine hasn’t been disturbed by later mining, it’s not been broken into by kids in the 1960s, it’s not been filled with bottles or other rubbish. It literally is a time capsule in terms of giving a glimpse into the environment that these miners, who were extracting cobalt, encountered.” According to experts, the lack of oxygen allowed the objects within the mine – including a pipe and a wooden winch – to remain conserved in great state”.