The Oldest Profession? Well, Not Quite…

What were people already doing around the invention of the wheel? Leatherwork. That’s what. Last month, the New York Times ran this article in which they detail the discovery of a 5,500-year-old leather shoe.

the shoe, made of cowhide and tanned with oil from a plant or vegetable, is about 5,500 years old, older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids, scientists say.

Granted, I’m not making shoes yet, but some guy in a pre-society used his skills as a craftsman and cobbled up this shoe out of veg-tanned cow hide, which is exactly what I make goods out of. You’ve got to admit – that’s cool!

Previously, the oldest known leather shoe belonged to Ötzi the Iceman, a mummy found 19 years ago in the Alps near the Italian-Austrian border. His shoes, about 300 years younger than the Armenian shoe, had bearskin soles, deerskin panels, tree-bark netting and grass socks.

Bearskin soles? Deerskin panels? Tree-bark netting? Grass socks? Those Italian designers and their wacky footwear materials! Nothing has changed in the last 5,000-years.

she [Diana Zardaryan] said. “But when I took it out, I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s a shoe.’ To find a shoe has always been my dream.”

This is not the first time I’ve heard of a woman saying such a thing. I’m pretty sure I’ve heard Jennifer say similar things. Maybe the wording was slightly different. Usually it’s in a slightly different context anyway. It still really isn’t any less of a treasure hunt. 😛

Anyway, this just tempts me even more to try my hand at making shoes. There’s a lot of 2011 left to go. We shall see what happens.

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5 thoughts on “The Oldest Profession? Well, Not Quite…

  1. Right now, looking at the state of the world’s economy I’m wishing I had a skilled trade like you Michael. People will always need shoes, belts, wallets, holsters and all the things that can be made of leather.

  2. Sandals are an easy start.
    When stationed in Oki, we bought sandals from an old cobbler in Naha. Completed with buckles except for the holes punched in the straps.
    When you bought them, he would punch holes so that it fit you perfectly, then punch one more hole in either direction. It was nice knowing you were wearing something made just for you.

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