Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researcher Discovers Oldest Shoe East Of Rockies; Discovery Will Lead To Better Understanding Of Early Culture

Date:
July 15, 1998
Source:
University Of Missouri, Columbia
Summary:
Eight thousand years ago, no living culture had ever heard of Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Birkenstock or Gucci, but they knew the importance of a good, comfortable walking shoe. University of Missouri-Columbia researcher Michael OํBrien is trying to learn more about those cultures with his recent discovery of some of the oldest shoes known to exist in the Midwest.

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Eight thousand years ago, no living culture had ever heard of Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Birkenstock or Gucci, but they knew the importance of a good, comfortable walking shoe. University of Missouri-Columbia researcher Michael O'Brien is trying to learn more about those cultures with his recent discovery of some of the oldest shoes known to exist in the Midwest. His discovery will be published this week in the journal Science.

Related Articles


Since the mid-1950s, the University has amassed a large collection of sandals and slip on type shoes from an archeological site in central Missouri, but no known safe method has been available to date the shoes. Previous dating methods required a large amount of the material to be destroyed during the dating process.

O'Brien decided to take advantage of a recent technique, accelerator mass spectrometry, a process that was used to date the Shroud of Turin and destroys significantly less material than other methods. The result was accurate dating and insight into a culture that lived more than 8,000 years ago in the Midwest. This marks the oldest such discovery east of the Rocky Mountains. Older artifacts have been found west of the mountains on the Colorado Plateau, which has an arid environment favorable to preservation.

"These sandals are perishable and the fact that we had any material at all was really good," O'Brien said. "When we went in for the dating, we selected different types of shoe construction and discovered a range of 7,500 years of construction technique."

"The earliest shoe dated in the research was 8,325 years old. This very early shoe construction shows how people were making use of environmental resources," O'Brien said. "This collection is a very significant example of one kind of a material culture. We had assumed that cultures living in that particular time frame had materials such as these, but with these new findings, this is now proof."

O'Brien will use the material and information learned in his discovery to create a database for future use. Currently, there is no usable database with data on cultural material that can be used for such studies.

"Fifteen to 20 years from now, people can come back and use this database for their own studies and add to the knowledge that we have already gained," O'Brien said. "With what we have learned in this discovery, it adds one more piece to the puzzle."

O'Brien was assisted in his research by Jenna Kuttruff, an associate professor in the School of Human Ecology at Louisiana State University; and S. Gail DeHart, a graduate student at LSU.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Missouri, Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Missouri, Columbia. "Researcher Discovers Oldest Shoe East Of Rockies; Discovery Will Lead To Better Understanding Of Early Culture." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 July 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980715083512.htm>.
University Of Missouri, Columbia. (1998, July 15). Researcher Discovers Oldest Shoe East Of Rockies; Discovery Will Lead To Better Understanding Of Early Culture. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980715083512.htm
University Of Missouri, Columbia. "Researcher Discovers Oldest Shoe East Of Rockies; Discovery Will Lead To Better Understanding Of Early Culture." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/07/980715083512.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

Researchers Bring Player Pianos Back to Life

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) — Stanford University wants to unlock the secrets of the player piano. Researchers are restoring and studying self-playing pianos and the music rolls that recorded major composers performing their own work. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Domestication Might've Been Bad For Horses

Newsy (Dec. 16, 2014) — A group of scientists looked at the genetics behind the domestication of the horse and showed how human manipulation changed horses' DNA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet Manuscripts to Go on Sale

AFP (Dec. 16, 2014) — A collection of rare manuscripts by composers Mozart, Beethoven, Shubert and Bizet are due to go on sale at auction on December 17. Duration: 00:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Old Ship Records to Shed Light on Arctic Ice Loss

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 15, 2014) — Researchers are looking to the past to gain a clearer picture of what the future holds for ice in the Arctic. A project to analyse and digitize ship logs dating back to the 1850's aims to lengthen the timeline of recorded ice data. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins