3,000-Year-Old Shoe Found On A Beach In Kent, UK

Britain’s oldest shoe has been found on a beach in Kent. The shoe, made of leather, is 3,000 years old and was discovered by archaeologist Steve Tomlinson.

When Tomlinson found the shoe, he did not think it was special, but he sent it for carbon dating at an East Kilbride, Scotland unit. Five weeks later, he received a reply stating the shoe was from the late Bronze Age.

The shoe as it was found on a foreshore in North Kent. Credit: Steve Tomlinson

” I got a call from a gentleman at the lab who said to me, “I think you better sit down for this,” Tomlinson recalls.

“The date they had given me was just astonishing. It’s incredible, and it’s so, so rare. Textiles like this don’t survive often, they have to be found in anaerobic conditions,”

The shoe is 15cm long, and it is thought that it was worn by a child aged two- to three years old.

“In 2005, a 2,000-year-old shoe found by archaeologists excavating a quarry in Somerset was believed to be the UK’s oldest.

But the discovery in Kent is even older – and is also potentially the smallest Bronze Age shoe ever found in the world,”

The Bronze Age artifact will now be properly examined by experts. The plan is to determine the type of animal the leather was made from, and if any DNA can be sourced from the artifact.

“I will certainly look forward to the future and what we can all learn from this incredible find. Finding something like that is quite extraordinary. It opens up history too; we just know nothing about these kinds of things,” Tomlinson who is still amazed by what he found, said.

After all scientific studies have been carried out, the Bronze Age shoe is expected to go to the British Museum.

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