Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Prehistoric Find Bolsters Armenian Pride

Proof of human ingenuity five millennia ago fits Armenians’ sense of themselves as ancient nation.

The discovery of a shoe dating back over 5,000 years has boosted Armenians’ pride in their ancient heritage, as well as pleasure at being in the headlines for a positive reason. More practically, the find could encourage greater foreign interest in Armenia and its archaeological heritage.

The moccasin, made from a single piece of cowhide, was found in a cave in the tiny village of Areni in the Vayots Dzor region in 2008. It shot to fame only recently, when recent carbon dating shows that it could be 5,600 years old. That makes it the world’s oldest item of all-leather footwear, although sandals found in Missouri date back still further.

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