TBILISI (Xinhua) — Researchers in Armenia on Tuesday appealed to tourists and hobbyists to respect and protect of an Armenian cave where the world’s oldest leather shoe was found.
The director of the Armenian national academy of sciences, Pavel Avetisyan, made the appeal while addressing the press about the trouble enthusiastic tourists and hobbyists had been causing in and around the cave located near the Armenian village of Areni.
“Tourists bothered us a lot throughout our excavations by entering the cave without permission,” said the lead researcher. “They did not care that they could break something. So, after the excavations we decided to close access to the cave.”
Excavations, which began in 2007, have so far found a 5,500-year-old leather shoe, fragments of another old leather shoe, a goat mummy believed to be older than the Egyptian mummies, and a skirt made of reed which may turn out to be even older than the world’s oldest leather shoe found in the same cave.
The previous record of the world’s oldest leather shoe was the ones found on the feet of Otzi the Iceman, a 5,300-year-old body found frozen in an Austrian glacier.