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Reference: Ron Pinhasi, Boris Gasparian, Gregory Areshian et al., (2010). First direct evidence of Chalcolithic footwear from the Near Eastern Highlands. PLoS ONE, 5 (6), Article: e10984.Citable link to this page:


First direct evidence of Chalcolithic footwear from the Near Eastern Highlands

Abstract: In 2008, a well preserved and complete shoe was recovered at the base of a Chalcolithic pit in the cave of Areni-1, Armenia. Here, we discuss the chronology of this find, its archaeological context and its relevance to the study of the evolution of footwear. Two leather samples and one grass sample from the shoe were dated at the Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit (ORAU). A third leather sample was dated at the University of California-Irvine Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Facility (UCIAMS). The R_Combine function for the three leather samples provides a date range of 3627-3377 Cal BC (95.4% confidence interval) and the calibrated range for the straw is contemporaneous (3627-3377 Cal BC). The shoe was stuffed with loose, unfastened grass (Poaceae) without clear orientation which was more than likely used to maintain the shape of the shoe and/or prepare it for storage. The shoe is 24.5 cm long (European size 37), 7.6 to 10 cm wide, and was made from a single piece of leather that wrapped around the foot. It was worn and shaped to the wearer's right foot, particularly around the heal and hallux where the highest pressure is exerted in the normal gait. The Chalcolithic shoe provides solid evidence fot the use of footwear among Old World populations at least since the Chalcolithic. Other 4th millennium discoveries of shoes (Italian and Swiss Alps), and sandals (Southern Israel) indicate that more than one type of footwear existed during the 4th millennium BC, and that we should expect to discover more regional variations in the manufacturing and style of shoes where preservation conditions permit.

Publication status:PublishedPeer Review status:Peer reviewedVersion:Publisher's version Funder: Armenian Branch of the Gfoeller Fund of America Corporation   Funder: National Geographic Society   Funder: British Academy   Funder: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA   Funder: Steinmetz Foundation   Funder: Chitjian Trust   Funder: Boochever Foundation   Notes:Citation: Pinhasi, R. et al. (2010). 'First direct evidence of Chalcolithic footwear from the Near Eastern Highlands', PLoS ONE 5(6), e10984. © 2010 Pinhasi et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Bibliographic Details

Publisher: Public Library of Science

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Host: PLoS ONEsee more from them

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Issue Date: 2010-June

Copyright Date: 2010

pages:Article: e10984Identifiers


Eissn: 1932-6203

Urn: uuid:2fbfed35-ca01-4e3c-aa26-66edb57d2830 Item Description

Type: Article: post-print;

Language: en

Version: Publisher's versionKeywords: Chalcolithic shoesSubjects: Archeology Dating Tiny URL: ora:3945


Autor: Ron Pinhasi - institutionUniversity College Cork, Cork, Ireland facultyDepartment of Archaeology - - - Boris Gasparian - institut



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