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Humans Wore Shoes 40,000 Years Ago, Fossil Suggests
National Geographic News ^ | 7-1-2008 | Scott Norris

Posted on 07/01/2008 8:09:54 PM PDT by blam

Humans Wore Shoes 40,000 Years Ago, Fossil Suggests

Scott Norris for National Geographic News
July 1, 2008

Humans were wearing shoes at least 10,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study.

The evidence comes from a 40,000-year-old human fossil with delicate toe bones indicative of habitual shoe-wearing, experts say.

A previous study of anatomical changes in toe bone structure had dated the use of shoes to about 30,000 years ago.

Now the dainty-toed fossil from China suggests that at least some humans were sporting protective footwear 10,000 years further back, during a time when both modern humans and Neandertals occupied portions of Europe and Asia.

Study author Erik Trinkaus, a paleoanthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, said the scarcity of toe bone fossils makes it hard to determine when habitual shoe-wearing became widespread.

However, he noted, even Neandertals may have been strapping on sandals.

"Earlier humans, including Neanderthals, show [some] evidence of occasionally wearing shoes," Trinkaus said.

Regular shoe use may have become common by 40,000 years ago, but "we still have no [additional] evidence from that time period—one way or the other," the scientist said.

The study by Trinkaus and Chinese co-author Hong Shang appears in the July issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Tale of the Toes

In a previous study, Trinkaus found that shoe-wearing and barefoot human groups show characteristic differences in the size and strength of their middle toe bones. Consistent shoe use results in a more delicate bone structure, because footwear reduces the force on middle toes during walking.

In his latest study, this anatomical evidence allowed Trinkaus to date the origin of shoes to a period long before the oldest known shoe remains.

Elizabeth Semmelhack curates the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, Canada. She said given what we know about the effects of shoe-wearing, Trinkaus' approach makes perfect sense.

"The simple act of wearing shoes alters the structure of our feet," Semmelhack said.

"It's interesting that [Trinkaus] is looking at these prehistoric remains and coming to the same conclusions."

Function vs. Fashion

The first forms of protective footwear probably evolved from simple wrappings used to insulate the feet from snow and freezing temperatures, experts say.

The oldest preserved shoe remains, dating to roughly 10,000 years ago from the western United States, are simple sandals woven of plant fibers.

But at some point shoes stopped being mere protection and become a fashion item.

Some anthropologists have suggested that even the earliest shoes may have served a more symbolic than protective function.

Beads found around the ankles and feet of human skeletons dated to 27,000 years ago suggest the presence of decorated footwear, Trinkaus said.

"History is replete with examples of impractical, irrational shoes," noted shoe museum curator Semmelhack.

"The actual first shoes may have been created out of necessity. But elements of irrationality probably crept in very early on," she said.

"Even these ancient people were probably trying to express something."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: fossil; freepun; godsgravesglyphs; humans; hushpuppies; odoreaters; shoes

1 posted on 07/01/2008 8:09:54 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 07/01/2008 8:10:24 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Gee they used shoes as a fashion statement? Did they wear Birkenstocks?


3 posted on 07/01/2008 8:11:48 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: blam
Photobucket
4 posted on 07/01/2008 8:12:12 PM PDT by BunnySlippers
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To: blam

I wonder if they had corner stores back then.


5 posted on 07/01/2008 8:12:30 PM PDT by dr_who
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To: blam

**”Even these ancient people were probably trying to express something.”**

Like mine is bigger than yours?


6 posted on 07/01/2008 8:13:28 PM PDT by max americana
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To: blam
Previously posted here;

First Shoes Worn 40,000 Years Ago

7 posted on 07/01/2008 8:13:30 PM PDT by blam
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To: BunnySlippers

lol thanks


8 posted on 07/01/2008 8:14:24 PM PDT by shineon
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To: blam

Is that not 36,000+ years before the universe was magically created?


9 posted on 07/01/2008 8:14:24 PM PDT by Natchez Hawk (Truth: The anti-drug war.)
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To: blam

I am more appreciative of whoever invented pants .


10 posted on 07/01/2008 8:16:26 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it , freedom has a flavor the protected will never know)
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To: blam
It's really kind of dumb to think they didn't wear some kind of shoe. Walking on desert sands burns...walking on stones hurts....walking in snow freezes your toesies off...

Bottom line...You just did what you thought best. Man was never an idiot.

11 posted on 07/01/2008 8:18:29 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (I'm planting corn...Have to feed my car...)
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To: BunnySlippers
I'm sure, Imeda Marcos, Is insisting, "Its' in my Genes!"
12 posted on 07/01/2008 8:24:23 PM PDT by skinkinthegrass (If you aren't "advancing" your arguments,your losing "the battle of Ideas"...libs,hates the facts 8^)
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To: Natchez Hawk

First came the shoe and then came the universe.


13 posted on 07/01/2008 8:24:29 PM PDT by trumandogz ("He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and it worries me." Sen Cochran on McCain)
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To: kbennkc
"I am more appreciative of whoever invented pants ."

Pants were invented by the people who domesticated the horse. Straddling a horse is pretty tough without pants. The people in the article below probably domesticated the horse:

The Curse Of The Red-Headed Mummy

The oldest pair of pants ever found was being worn by these folks.

14 posted on 07/01/2008 8:25:51 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
Stick dead animals on your feet. Makes sense to me.

15 posted on 07/01/2008 8:28:45 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Ask me again tomorrow.)
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To: trumandogz

Footwear is always in fashion ;)


16 posted on 07/01/2008 8:28:47 PM PDT by Natchez Hawk (Truth: The anti-drug war.)
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To: blam

Pricey-not easy on the feet, but lovey: a pair of Jimmy Choo’s./Just Asking - seoul62.......


17 posted on 07/01/2008 8:36:48 PM PDT by seoul62
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To: blam

Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I
meddle with no tradesman’s matters, nor women’s
matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon
to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I
recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon
neat’s leather have gone upon my handiwork. —Shakespeare, “Julius Caesar”


18 posted on 07/01/2008 9:25:52 PM PDT by onedoug
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To: blam

I do love so the National Geo. They can take the merest sand grain of fact and turn it into a beach of speculation.


19 posted on 07/01/2008 9:30:54 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: onedoug
MARULLUS :But what trade art thou? answer me directly.

Second Commoner :A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe
conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.

MARULLUS :What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what trade?

Second Commoner :Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet,
if you be out, sir, I can mend you.
20 posted on 07/01/2008 9:36:26 PM PDT by lesser_satan (Cthulu '08! Why vote for the lesser evil?)
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To: The Spirit Of Allegiance; blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Thanks Blam. Even then, men had soles.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·


21 posted on 07/01/2008 10:54:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: blam

First Shoes Worn 40,000 Years Ago
Yahoo News | 6-5-2008 | Maggie Koerth-Baker
Posted on 06/05/2008 8:01:34 PM PDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2026866/posts

Aching Feet? Early Humans Figured Out Solutions
MSNBC | 8-20-2005 | Erik Trinkaus
Posted on 09/27/2005 6:34:57 PM PDT by blam
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1492521/posts

Bones reveal first shoe-wearers
BBC | 8/24/05 | Olivia Johnson
Posted on 08/24/2005 10:06:07 PM PDT by LibWhacker
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1470209/posts


22 posted on 07/01/2008 11:01:20 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: blam
Rotating the image reveals hidden markings...


23 posted on 07/01/2008 11:05:41 PM PDT by Rebelbase (Black dogs and bacon bombs.)
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To: Rebelbase

Capitalism has been around longer than anyone expected.


24 posted on 07/01/2008 11:10:16 PM PDT by blam
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To: kbennkc; blam
But the man who popularized pants for the modern man is Beau Brummell, the English socialite who caused a sensation by rejected breeches in favor of pants.
25 posted on 07/02/2008 12:33:28 PM PDT by colorado tanker (Number nine, number nine, number nine . . .)
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To: kbennkc; blam

But the man who popularized pants for the modern man is Beau Brummell, the English socialite who caused a sensation by rejecting breeches in favor of pants.


26 posted on 07/02/2008 12:33:47 PM PDT by colorado tanker (Number nine, number nine, number nine . . .)
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To: colorado tanker
Beau Brummell

I am very grateful for pants . I liked the Beau Brummells Laugh Laugh , Cry Just a Little

27 posted on 07/02/2008 12:40:54 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it , freedom has a flavor the protected will never know)
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To: kbennkc
Laugh, Laugh
28 posted on 07/02/2008 12:59:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Did they have Ghetto's filled with Urban Troubadours back then also?

29 posted on 07/03/2008 2:08:22 PM PDT by Sawdring
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Study author Erik Trinkaus, a paleoanthropologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, said the scarcity of toe bone fossils makes it hard to determine when habitual shoe-wearing became widespread. However, he noted, even Neandertals may have been strapping on sandals. "Earlier humans, including Neanderthals, show [some] evidence of occasionally wearing shoes," Trinkaus said.

30 posted on 08/17/2008 1:35:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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