7500 Years of Prehistoric Footwear from Arnold Research Cave, Missouri

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Science  03 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5373, pp. 72-75
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5373.72

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Accelerator mass spectrometer dating of an assemblage of fibrous and leather footwear from Arnold Research Cave in central Missouri documents a long sequence of shoe construction by prehistoric Midwestern peoples, beginning perhaps as early as 8300 calendar years before the present (cal years B.P.). An earlier fibrous sandal form dates from 8325 to 7675 cal years B.P., and later fibrous or leather slip-ons span the period from 5575 to 1070 cal years B.P. The assemblage adds to a growing picture of the highly varied nature of prehistoric footwear production in the United States throughout the Holocene.

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