Divers find 5,000-year-old shoe in Swiss lake

GENEVA (XINHUA) - Divers often find old shoes in lakes, but during excavations at a lake near Zurich, they recently found a shoe dating back to the Stone Age of around 3300 to 2800 BC, Swiss media reported Tuesday (March 27).

The shoe was found almost fully preserved in the Greifensee lake at Maur, the Swiss news agency SDA-ATS reported.

It said that less than 10 of these rare specimens have been found in Europe to date.

The Stone Age lake dwellings sites on the shores of lakes in the Zurich area are known as some of the most important archaeological sites in Europe.

The shoe dates back 5,000 years to the so-called "Horgen" culture, according to the Zurich cantonal building authorities who released a statement on Tuesday.

The shoe is a "prime example of the ingenious manufacturing of Neolithic clothing," says the statement.

It is made out of bast, a material made from certain types of tree bark that is rarely used today.

The recovery and subsequent conservation of the fragile find was lengthy and complicated, say the building authorities.

The pristine appearance of the shoe was highly unusual, however.

"It's a miracle that a textile object so ancient remained unaffected by natural decomposition and could be preserved in such good condition," the statement said.