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NEWS: Ancient Shoes Turn Up in Egypt Temple

The unwrapped shoe bundle showing the two pairs of children's shoes and the adult isolate (Source: Live Science).

The unwrapped shoe bundle showing the two pairs of children’s shoes and the adult isolate (Source: Live Science).

“More than 2,000 years ago, at a time when Egypt was ruled by a dynasty of kings of Greek descent, someone, perhaps a group of people, hid away some of the most valuable possessions they had — their shoes.

Seven shoes were deposited in a jar in an Egyptian temple in Luxor, three pairs and a single one. Two pairs were originally worn by children and were only about 7 inches (18 centimetres) long. Using palm fibre string, the child shoes were tied together within the single shoe (it was larger and meant for an adult) and put in the jar. Another pair of shoes, more than 9 inches (24 cm) long that had been worn by a limping adult, was also inserted in the jar.

The shoe-filled jar, along with two other jars, had been “deliberately placed in a small space between two mudbrick walls,” writes archaeologist Angelo Sesana in a report published in the journal Memnonia.

In 2004, an Italian archaeological expedition team, led by Sesana, rediscovered the shoes. The archaeologists gave André Veldmeijer, an expert in ancient Egyptian footwear, access to photographs that show the finds.

Veldmeijer’s analysis suggests the shoes may have been foreign-made and were “relatively expensive.” Sandals were the more common footwear in Egypt and that the style and quality of these seven shoes was such that “everybody would look at you,” and “it would give you much more status because you had these expensive pair of shoes,” said Veldmeijer, assistant director for Egyptology of the Netherlands-Flemish Institute in Cairo.

Veldmeijer made a number of shoe design discoveries. He found that the people who wore the seven shoes would have tied them using what researchers call “tailed toggles.” Leather strips at the top of the shoes would form knots that would be passed through openings to close the shoes. After they were closed a long strip of leather would have hung down, decoratively, at either side. The shoes are made out of leather, which is likely bovine.

Most surprising was that the isolated shoe had what shoemakers call a “rand,” a device that until now was thought to have been first used in medieval Europe” – via Live Science.

Read more here.

Curiouser and curiouser! I wonder why they were hidden? And the analysis revealing a ‘medieval’ design feature is astounding!

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One comment on “NEWS: Ancient Shoes Turn Up in Egypt Temple

  1. They were stashed in an attempt to hide a theft. And the thief was very Successful…

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