Ancient feet

cavemanIt would seem that squeezing feet in to shoes is not a new thing. A recent study in the US looked at the 40,000 year old structure of the human foot found in a cave in China. When the feet were examined for shape and bone density they showed an amazing similarity to the feet of todays shoe wearers. The early toe bones might not have had the likes of narrow footwear and high heels to deal with but as civilisation progressed skills such as shoe making using animal skins became evident from the types of tools found on archaeological digs. It was often considered that the Romans had the first footwear made from a separate upper and sole but the discovery of the ‘Iceman’ in 1991, a 5,300 year old frozen mummy found by hikers near the Austrian Italian border, also showed a remarkable degree of sophistication. The Iceman’s shoes were in an advanced stage of disintegration when found but careful examination revealed a shoe made in one piece leather with a form of straps to hold the shoe on and grass stuffed in for heat retention.The shoe itself being recently considered the possible upper portion of a snowshoe.