Use of micro CT scanner to verify Bronze Age Toddler shoe

3000 year old Bronze Age Toddler Shoe found in a Kent river and identified at our Imaging Centre for Life Sciences.

While mudlarking, in a Kent river, a Ramsgate archaeologist Steve Tomlinson discovered a 3000-year-old shoe. He sent it off for tests at the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre’s carbon-dating unit in East Kilbride. The shoe, which is leather and just 15cm (6in) long, appears to be the oldest found in Britain, dating from between 888-781BC. It is thought to have been worn by a child, no more than three years old. 

‘We’re pretty confident that this is the oldest in the UK…’ Tomlinson said ‘We cannot find records of any others from that period. We also believe it’s the smallest Bronze Age shoe in the world.’

Scans here and at Canterbury Christ Church have found further details. Dr Chris Dunmore, director of the ICLS scanned the shoe in its Diondo D1 microtomographic scanner revealing that the shoe had several layers which says something about its construction.

Dr Chris Dunmore and the Diondo D1.

‘It was really great to work with a local archaeological conservator at CSI Sittingbourne,  to unveil new deeper details of this fascinating find. Using the Micro-CT Scanner we built a 3D reconstruction of this tiny fragment of material culture. The equipment at the University of Kent, found several layers in the sole of the shoe, which tells about the way it was made in the Bronze Age.’

This gif gives you a toe-on view before heading through the sole of the shoe to the heel. Crucially you can clearly see the layers of leather revealed by our scan.

Read the story covered by various news providers;  The Times, The Daily Mail and The Daily News UK

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