Bones reveal first shoe-wearers
While early humans living in cold northern climates may have begun covering up their feet to insulate them as early as 500,000 years ago, protective footwear comparable to modern-day shoes is thought to be a much later innovation.
It has been difficult for archaeologists to determine exactly when humans stopped going barefoot, however, because the plant and animal materials used to make prehistoric shoes is highly perishable.
"The oldest shoes in the world are about 9,000 years old, and they're from California," said Professor Trinkaus, of Washington University in St Louis, US.
But by examining the foot bones of early modern humans (Homo sapiens) and Neaderthals (Homo neanderthalensis) dating from 10,000 to 100,000 years ago, Professer Trinkaus says he has determined the period in which footwear became the norm.
He found Neanderthals and early moderns living in Middle Palaeolithic times (100,000 to 40,000 years ago) had thicker, and therefore stronger, lesser toes than those of Upper Palaeolithic people living 26,000 years ago.
comments powered by Disqus
- How the Vikings Saved Europe and Got a Terrible Reputation
- Hard Hats On: Members of the Media Tour Exhibits under Construction at the National Museum of American History
- Shaman dancers, coolies and suffragettes: rare photos of 1900s Beijing discovered from Austrian archive
- England's King Richard III died painfully on battlefield
- 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard charged
- Pro-Israel groups going after federal support of Middle East Studies
- 100th Anniversary of Beard's 'An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution' commemorated
- University of Illinois Bigwig to Native American Studies scholar Jean O’Brien: Drop Dead
- 2 of 21 MacArthur Fellows for 2014 are historians
- Ken Burns electrifies Jon Stewart show