It is speculated that the boots probably belonged to a high-ranking woman who did not have to walk much, resulting in its pristine condition.
History is truly fascinating. A time far removed from now but it almost feels like our ancestors were not much different from us in the day to day dealings of life. When archaeologists uncover objects from the past it's like looking at a muddier version of the things we use now. But imagine you leave your shoes unattended for the entire period of the lockdown. It would sure look like it gave up on you and went on to crumble in months. But an excavation in the Pazyryk region of the Altai Mountains has uncovered a 2300-year-old pair of boots that is in amazing shape considering, well, the age.
The boots were determined to be women's footwear and are a bedazzled beauty believed to be from the Scythian age. The boots were among the numerous other objects excavated from the graves in the Pazyryk region of the Altai Mountains, as stated by the University of Washington catalog of The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg. Luckily for these boots, they were buried in the frozen ground. The low temperatures played a huge role in preserving the organic material remarkably. The red boots are said to be made from leather, textile, tin (or pewter), and gold.
So beautiful. Intricate beadwork and embroidery light up the synapses in my brain like gold or diamonds do for some. I can see me wearing them. ❤— Iseult Wallace (@IseultWallace) June 19, 2020
Reddit user SnorriGrisomson described the boots accurately, "These bootees are entirely covered with ornament. Along the seam between vamp and top there is a band of red woollen braid, decorated by leather figures, covered with gold-leaf, that look like ducklings. The sewn decoration has been carried out in sinew thread wrapped in a strip of tin-foil. The lotus provided the motif of the ornament. On the chamois leather background of the top is sewn a pattern in finely dressed red leather. The motif is a thrice-repeated variant of the same lotus-like flower in intricate and elegant patterns. The upper edge of the boot front bears a fanciful border. The soles of these bootees are highly original."
The intricate sole of the boots seems to be decorated with small black beads that are sewn on and decorated in the diamond-like shape with pieces of crystalline pyrites, also sewn, into the center of the grids. "Narrow and short on their outside surface, they are embroidered with a red woolen material and edged by double bands of sinew thread about 1 mm. thick," the Redditor stated. It is speculated, as per Open Culture, that the boots probably belonged to a high-ranking woman who did not have to walk much, resulting in the pristine condition of the boots. The excavations began in the 1920s and have managed to uncover many objects including jewelry, food, weapons, and clothing. These were thought to be objects the Scythians sent their dead with into the afterlife.
The Scythians, who were warriors of ancient Siberia are believed to have been nomads who did not leave many traces of themselves. "But when the Scythians buried their dead they took care to equip the corpse with the essentials they thought they needed for the perpetual rides of the afterlife. They usually dug a deep hole and built a wooden structure at the bottom," curators at the British Museum wrote. "Within the tomb chamber, the body was placed in a log trunk coffin, accompanied by some of their prized possessions and other objects."