Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bata Shoe Museum Offers Glimpse of Footwear from Antiquity


I have never heard of this Canadian museum or these unique ancient vessels!

"The Bata Shoe Museum has several examples of a very rare and unusual artifact from the ancient Near East, ceramic containers made in the shape of boots with upturned toes.

These ceramic boot vessels appear geographically from northwestern Iran to central Turkey between the years 1800 – 800 BCE.

They can also be compared to contemporary booted pouring vessels from the same regions, and later boot-shaped amphora of the Greeks and Etruscans.

Footwear had many symbolic meanings in the ancient world as is indicated in literary, legal and religious texts. In Mesopotamia, shoes were evoked in both curses and blessings, and the Bible describes the use of footwear as a legal symbol of ownership.

Some of the few clearly archaeologically excavated examples of ceramic boot vessels come from what appear to be funerary contexts, suggesting a deeper ritualistic purpose for them. "