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October 29, 2019

Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s 3,300 Year Old Sandals

Statues and statuettes of Tutankhamun from the tomb show him wearing golden sandals. These sandals are made of wood and overlaid with a marquetry veneer of bark, green leather, and gold foil on a stucco base. The outer soles are covered with white stucco. The straps over the insteps are of bark ornamented with a diaper pattern in gold foil. On the inner sole are figures of Negro and Asiatic captives bound with stems of lotus and papyrus. Above and below are groups of four bows which together with the captives, represent the nine traditional enemies of Egypt whom the king symbolically trod underfoot when wearing the sandals. The device had a long history dating back more than a thousand years.

During the ancient Egyptian period, people mostly traveled barefoot. It is believed that since the temperature in Egypt was very high throughout the year, people gave less importance to wearing footwear.

There is hardly any record to suggest that the Egyptians wore shoes or any other form of footwear. The ancient Egyptians began wearing sandals during the early years of the New Kingdom rule.

The sandals used by these people were very simple and were made either by using straw, reeds or leather. The wealthy people wore leather sandals and these lasted for a longer time than the sandals which were made using straw or reeds. The sandals were worn by all people belonging to all the classes except those who were extremely poor.

The sandals were decorated by using beads, jewels; some also had buckles on the straps made from precious metals. For the most part, the ancient Egyptians walked without wearing sandals or shoes.

Sandals were worn by people on special events. The gold and wood sandals are known to have been made in the ancient Egyptian period.


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