A perfectly preserved child’s shoe unearthed from a 2,000-year-old Iron Age mine has been hailed by archaeologists as a first step in cracking the era’s social history,
The simple shoe was discovered in an ancient, deep mining site under mountains in western Austria.
Simply made from what seems to be deerskin, it still has some of the rusty brown and grey hair attached.
Amazingly, its laces survived, showing how the shoe fastened from toe to ankle with a single strip of hide.
To some, it looks so brand new and modern it could almost pass for a child’s Birkenstock sandal or clog.
Experts estimate that by today’s standards, the shoe would be size 30 (11) and fit a child of around five years of age.
The ancient shoe was found during an excavation in Duerrnberg, Hallein District, Salzburg State, where Iron Age miners excavated rock salt.
Prof Dr Thomas Stoellner – scientific research head at the German Mining Museum Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany – said the discovery will help unlock the truth about how people lived 2,000 years ago.
In a statement from 4th September obtained by Newsflash, Prof Stoellner said: “The shoe is in outstanding condition.”
He explained: “Organic materials usually decompose in the course of time.
“Discoveries like this one are always special as they confirm the presence of children in underground mining sites.”
He added: “They offer highly rare insights into the life of the Iron Age miners. We obtain invaluable information for our scientific efforts.”
German Mining Museum Bochum spokeswoman Wiebke Buesch said: “The shoe was presumably produced in the 2nd century BC.”
She added that investigations and research at the site – which started in 2001 – would continue to reveal more about life in this period.
The shoe not only reveals that children worked with their parents down the mine but is also expected to reveal the type of hide it was made from and the size and diet of people in the ancient community.
To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Thomas Hochwarter, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.