Historical knowledge

Pair of shoes made of cowhide

A pair of shoes made of cowhide. The shoes are made of one piece of hide that was folded around the foot. The shape of the shoes is quite simple, with seams at the toe and the heel. It was not until the shoes were worn that they adapted to the shape of the foot. The hair side is turned inwards, providing extra comfort and warmth. The right shoe also has an extra inlaid sole. The shoes were fastened and kept in place with skin straps.

More than 20 shoes can be dated to the Early Iron Age. Some are found as pairs; others as single shoes. Several shoes have been found inside pottery vessels placed in peat bogs, which indicates that shoes also served as offerings to the gods. It is uncertain whether all Iron Age individuals wore shoes, but men, women and children all wore the same type of shoes.

The shoes were found in a peat bog at Rønbjerg in East Jutland in 1921, together with a male bog body. They are dated to the centuries before the birth of Christ, between 355-47 BC.

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