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He is the lead author on a paper describing the relic, published June 9 in .It was only when two tiny strips of leather and some straw from inside the shoe were carbon-dated by independent labs in California and Oxford, England, that the team realized how old the shoe really was—a few hundred years older than those worn by Ötzi, the Iceman.While Ötzi wore the oldest known leather shoes prior to this discovery (his were grassy socks held together with straps of bear and deer leather), 7,420-year-old sandals made from plant material were previously found in the Arnold Research Cave in Missouri.The newly discovered lace-up moccasin is thought to narrowly pre-date the first known slip-on shoe, which is 4,680 radiocarbon years old. The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.The team was unable to isolate ancient DNA to determine the origin of the leather, but microscopic analysis of the hide's pores suggests the size-seven shoe was probably made from a cow.
"In fact, enormous similarities exist between the manufacturing technique and style of this shoe and those found across Europe at later periods, suggesting that this type of shoe was worn for thousands of years across a large and environmentally diverse region," Pinhasi said in a prepared statement.Talk about vintage footwear—an international team of archaeologists has discovered the world's oldest leather shoe.One thousand years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, the 5,500-year-old shoe was perfectly preserved by the cool, dry conditions in the sheep dung–lined cave in Armenia where it was found."We thought initially that the shoe and other objects were about 600 to 700 years old because they were in such good condition," Ron Pinhasi said in a prepared statement.the average or expected time a given atom will survive before undergoing radioactive decay. The calculations involve several steps and include an intermediate value called the "radiocarbon age", which is the age in "radiocarbon years" of the sample: an age quoted in radiocarbon years means that no calibration curve has been used − the calculations for radiocarbon years assume that the , which for more than a decade after Libby's initial work was thought to be 5,568 years.This was revised in the early 1960s to 5,730 years, which meant that many calculated dates in papers published prior to this were incorrect (the error in the half-life is about 3%).
The radiocarbon dating method is based on the fact that radiocarbon is constantly being created in the atmosphere by the interaction of cosmic rays with atmospheric nitrogen.