For lovers of fashion, it’s the ultimate vintage shoe.
Created more than 5,500 years ago at the dawn of civilisation this perfectly preserved brown leather lace-up is the oldest shoe in the world. It was created from a piece of cow hide 1,000 years before the Great Pyramid of Giza and stitched together with leather thread.
The size 4 shoe – discovered buried in a cave in Armenia – is so well preserved that its lace is still intact. Archaeologists say it probably belonged to a woman who deliberately buried it in the cave during a mysterious ritual. The cave also contained three pots, each containing a child’s skull, along with containers of barley, wheat and apricot.
For Dr Ron Pinhasi, University College Cork, the shoe is a discovery of a lifetime. ‘We thought initially that the shoe and other objects were about 600-700 years old because they were in such good condition,’ said Dr Pinhasi. ‘When we discovered that the shoe dated back to 3,500 BC and that it was the oldest leather shoe, we were very excited.’