Thursday, February 23, 2012

Basket weave shoes are not new

The oldest known shoes were discovered in Fort Rock Cave, Oregon (1938). These were made from woven sagebrush bark. Radiocarbon dating indicates these are at least, 10,000 years old. The simple platform (made from woven fabric) with toe and heel attachments (thongs) was made of five pieces of woven rope (longer than the foot) with loops left on either side. The front part was folded in a pocket to protect the toes and the sandal was strapped with a thong which linked to the side loops. Rabbit fur and pine needles were sometimes added for comfort. The footwear is consistent with a high calibre of basketry incorporating weaving, sewing, plaiting and twisting. The latest sportshoe to grace Olympians will be knitted in a similar fashion to those early sandals.

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