Radiocarbon Dating Reveals the Ancient Origins of Grass Shoes
Radiocarbon Dating Reveals the Ancient Origins: According to a report published in the journal “Science Advances,” the age of grass shoes has been revealed.
The research team used radiocarbon dating to determine the age of 76 ancient items, including baskets made from esparto grass and 22 pairs of grass shoes.
Esparto grass, a plant used for crafts in the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, has a history of thousands of years.
These woven artifacts were excavated in the 19th century from graves of hunters and gatherers located in the southern Spanish city of Granada. After harvesting the tough grass, people would dry it for 30 days and then soak it in water to make it flexible and bendable.
The discovered grass sandals have a history of 6,200 years, making them the oldest known grass shoes to date.
Similar grass shoes have also been found in Armenia, estimated to be 5,500 years old, and the shoes worn by the prehistoric man, “Ötzi the Iceman,” discovered in Italy in 1991, can be traced back to 5,300 years ago.
The lead researcher of the study stated, “The quality and technical complexity of the baskets raise questions about our (oversimplified) assumptions regarding human settlements before agriculture reached southern Europe.”
It was observed that many of these shoes had a grass rope in the middle, which could be tied around the ankles. Some of the sandals showed signs of wear, while others remained unused, possibly made for the deceased.