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Footwear From Over 75,000 Years Ago? Some Fascinating Hints

Some researchers focus on changes in human foot bones, others on evidence of foot protection on ancient trackways

Recently, possible evidence for footwear dating from the Middle Stone Age, (75,000-150,000 years ago) was reported from South Africa’s Cape Coast. It’s a remarkable claim. After all, the earliest known preserved leather shoe is less than 6,000 years old. But there can be evidence for footwear use other than physical shoes. For example, wearing shoes changes the shape of the human foot. Weight is distributed differently, which affect bones and ligaments. Toe bones, for example, tend to shrink. In 2008, Washington University anthropologist Erik Trinkaus offered evidence based on this observation that humans had begun wearing shoes about 40,000 years ago. As Maggie Koerth-Baker explained at LiveScience, For most of their history, humans had big, thick toe bones. Trinkaus said Read More ›