Shoe thrown into Swiss lake 5,000 years ago

(ORDO NEWS) — The holey shoe of a man who lived five thousand years ago was discovered by archaeologists at the bottom of Lake Greifensee in northern Switzerland in 2018. And for scientists, this is an incredibly valuable artifact.

“An almost completely preserved boot, which is about five thousand years old, was found,” the message posted on the website of the cantonal government of Zurich said. “There have been less than a dozen such finds in Europe.”

Outwardly resembling a bast shoe, a semi-open boot is made of bast. In the production of shoes in those days, ribbons of bast half a centimeter thick were used. “Since the length of the boot is 26 cm, it most likely belonged to an adult,” experts noted. There is a gaping hole under the heel of the boot: apparently, that’s why it was thrown out by the owner.

Most Stone Age garments are extremely fragile. They were made from plant materials. Swiss archaeologists call it a miracle that some objects have survived to our time without succumbing to decomposition.

Underwater surveys are carried out on the Greifensee lake at a depth of 3.5 meters. Artifacts are taken to the surface along with silt, from which they are then scrupulously cleaned in the laboratory. To prevent the appearance of microbes, the laboratory room is constantly cooled, it maintains the necessary humidity.

The shoe was found in the territory of the Mau community. Ancient artifacts were first discovered in this community at the end of the 19th century, when the level of the lake dropped by one meter after the change in the course of the Glatt River.

It took more than a century before rigorous systematic research was carried out at this place. Cultural layers have been found that belong to three different cultures that succeeded each other during 3800-2500 BC.


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