A child’s shoe dating back more than 2,000 years has been discovered in Austria with its laces still intact.
According to the German Mining Museum, Bochum-Leibniz Research Museum for Geo-resources, the leather shoe, whose size roughly corresponds to EU 30 (US 12), was most likely created in the second century BC.
Archaeologists discovered the shoe in the western community of Dürrnberg, where rock salt mining dates back to the Iron Age, according to a recent news release.
The salt, which is especially effective at preserving organic residues, is likely to have kept the shoe in excellent shape.
“Our research activities at Dürrnberg have been providing us with valuable finds for decades in order to scientifically explore the earliest mining activities. The condition of the shoe found is outstanding,” Professor Thomas Stoellner, head of the Research Department at the German Mining Museum, said in the news release.
According to the museum, excavation work is being done in Dürrnberg to gather information on the work and lives of Iron Age miners.
Archaeologists uncovered the shoe among other biological remnants, including a wooden shovel blade piece and fur with lacing that could have come from a fur hood.
According to the announcement, the lacing fragments discovered preserved were most likely composed of flax or linen.
Finding a child’s shoe is “always something special,” because it shows that children were present underground, the museum said.
Stoellner added, “Organic materials generally decompose over time. Finds like this child’s shoe, but also textile remains or excrement like those found on Dürrnberg, offer an extremely rare insight into the life of Iron Age miners.”