Analytical chemistry dates leather shoe as oldest ever
Jun 10 2010 Comments 0
In fact, the footwear found in an Armenian cave is 5,500 years old - a statistic verified through analytical chemistry in three different ways.
Two of those ways applied mass spectrometry to date the leather of the shoe, which was pre-treated with an acid-base-acid sequence, rinsed then bleached before radiocarbon measurements were carried out.
For the third dating, grass found inside the shoe was subjected to a similar process, providing independent support for the contemporaneity of the sample.
Dr Ron Pinhasi, lead author of the research from University College Cork in Ireland, says: "We thought initially that the shoe and other objects were about 600-700 years old because they were in such good condition."
It is thought that a layer of sheep dung in the cave where they were found helped to preserve the shoe and the other items discovered nearby.
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