World's oldest leather shoe has been discovered by a team of archaeologists under a layer of sheep turd in a cave in Armenia. The shoe is estimated to be 5,500 year old, it was made of a single piece of cow hide and was shaped to fit the wearer's foot.
The shoe contained grass, although the archaeologists are uncertain as to whether this was to keep the foot warm or to maintain the shape of the footwear.
The authors are unsure whether it was worn by a man or a woman. The shoe is relatively small, corresponding to a UK women's size 5 (European size 38; US size 7 women), but it could have been worn by a man of that period.
The archaeologists put the shoe's remarkable preservation down to the stable, cool and dry conditions in the cave and the fact that the floor of the cave was covered by a thick layer of sheep dung.
This layer of excrement acted as a solid seal, preserving it over the millennia.