What is the oldest shoe in the world?
Today we will not speak of the need to fit the feet a certain age, when a baby begins to walk, but to the very origins of the garment. Today, various shoes are essential in Western cabinets, but the need had that arise million years ago. Although it is believed that the first humans, those who left Africa to populate throughout Europe and Asia, had to have used at some point some kind of footwear, the oldest vestige of which is physical evidence is much later.
It’s a very basic garment made of woven straw and leather. It is a single copy (missing the other foot has because of missed the routes of the time) and, after the carbon 14 tests, has been dated as 5500 (year up or down) of antiquity. It comes from a cave in Armenia and the size to which corresponds is current number 37. Until further evidence is not, this is the oldest and it is not known if it is male or female or social status or way of life of its user.
And in ancient times, what shoes was used ?
Even though we have this old rest, that does not mean that samples of all times there are. We know that they were used very bare sandals, probably made in woven leather, and boots military (of the same material) by the artistic or archaeological remains that have come to us of peoples, such as the Sumerian.
As at present, the most prominent ancient cultures made use of shoes, but only classes high and more wealthy wore footwear as we know it today. Even the popular espadrilles or Mediterranean Sandals are very rear (middle age approximately). Until then, the common people was satisfied with go barefoot when weather permitted or crudely covered these parts of the body with animal skins.
We know this because there is archaeological evidence showing King Darius and Cyrus, the Persian Empire (towards the 400 b.c.), with nice Sandals up to the knees, very similar to the contemporary proposals for woman from Ferragamo or Roberto Cavalli, that any time is good for inspiration.
The ancient Egyptian sandals
But, if there is a culture that has given importance to the shoes, this is without a doubt the Egyptian. This civilization are preserved large numbers of Sandals made in all types of materials, such as the gold of Tuntakamon, which were found in his tomb. And here comes from the large number of Egyptian copies that today inhabit museums all over the world: from the funerary monuments. As it is known, this town had customarily bury their dead with their belongings, clothes and shoes included.
Although the thieves made their own, some have come down to us and demonstrate an impressive wealth, as the Sandals referred to above. That doesn’t mean that also appear simpler models woven Papyrus which were used by characters in any condition, from priests to the humblest peasants for their holidays.
The importance of footwear in the ancient Egyptian is such that there are sources that lead up to this time the first version of the popular tale of Cinderella.
In addition, the Egyptian people do not chose at random the color of your shoes and they were always guided by a strict code of symbolic. White, as the image of the tomb of Nefertiti from sandals, was reserved to cigars. Yellow, such which was happening in Japan, was the color of the Sun and, therefore, only Pharaohs could carry them. Green , Blue and Red modelshave also found with a distinct symbolic sense.
In the ancient Greece and Rome, shoes and sandals became almost magical objects, but that’s for another time.
Did early humans wear shoes?
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