- A 5,500-year-old shoe was found in a cool, dry cave in Armenia.
- The right-footed moccasin was buried in sheep dung, which likely helped preserve it.
- The shoe is roughly the size of an American size 7 woman's shoe.
The ultimate vintage shoe -- a 5,500-year-old leather lace-up moccasin -- has been found buried in sheep dung in a cave in Armenia on the Iranian and Turkish borders.
The cool, dry cave and the thick layer of sheep dung, which acted as a solid seal, kept the world's oldest piece of leather footwear in perfect condition.
Designed a thousand years before the Great Pyramid of Giza, the soft-soled shoe was stuffed with loose, unfastened grass. The right-footed shoe (the left has not been discovered) is 24.5 cm long and 7.6 to 10 cm wide (9.6 by 2.9 to 3.9 inches) (U.S. size 7 women). It was probably worn by an early farmer living in the mountains of the Vayotz Dzor province.
"We were all amazed to see its state of preservation and the fine details such as the laces, eyelets and the straw inside it," said Ron Pinhasi of Ireland's University College Cork and lead author of the research published in PLoS One, a journal of the Public Library of Science.