Please look carefully at these leather sandals, in the picture: in your opinion, how old are they? Well, amazingly they are 3,500 years old. Time kept them intact in an Egyptian sarcophagus until the present day. They are undoubtedly an amazing attestation of style and evidence, most of all, “leather material” durability. Just for the records, these sandals are not the only (very) ancient objects that achieve this goal. Here are some more examples.
A team of Spanish and Egyptian archaeologists, led by Professor José Galán, discovered the leather sandals in the picture last spring. Experts found them in an Egyptian sarcophagus containing the mummy of a girl of the seventeenth dynasty, situated in the necropolis of Dra Abu el-Naga, not far from Luxor. The sandals, then, date back to 1500 BC approximately: they are in very good condition. They are red-coloured and show a few ornamental motifs representing Bes and Taweret divinities (two cats), an Alpine ibex and a rose. Their style is elegant and impressively modern despite their “age”.
Twenty more centuries
Yet, the oldest shoe ever discovered by archaeologists dates back to 5,500 years ago. They found it in a cave in Armenia, in the province of Vayotz Dzor. Right such indoor environment and its peculiarity have preserved the shoe in good condition until present. According to studies, carried out by experts, they manufactured it in the Chalcolithic, the Copper Age. So, 3,500 years before Christ.
In Bulgaria and in Germany
In 2009, in Bulgaria, archaeologists discovered, near the town of Sliven, a pair of leather shoes that had supposedly belonged to a woman who lived in the Thracian-Roman age. These shoes, together with some more finds discovered on the archaeological site, presumably date back to a period ranging from the fifth to the second century before Christ. Another pair of refined leather shoes, discovered near Saalburg, Germany, in July 2019, is probably “just” 2,000 years old instead. According to experts, in the area there was an ancient Roman fort, which was not only up to military activities.
The Predator from Vindolanda
Ultimately, other shoes stand out for their extremely modern design. They discovered them in 2016, in the Roman fort of Vindolanda, situated near Hadrian’s Wall, in Northumbria, bordering with present Scotland. Finds include, among others, men’s boots for boys, slippers and women’s footwear. Yet one model, in particular, aroused archaeologists’ curiosity. Why? Because it looks like the Adidas Predator. “These shoes provided the ancient Romans with comfort and flexibility – pointed out, at the time, Andrew Birley, supervisor of the archaeological site –. Its resemblance to the Predator model evidences that top-notch design goes beyond time”.
Picture taken from djedmedu.wordpress.com