Journal of Archaeological Science (Article in Press)
See also Earliest shoe wearers and 40,000 year old human from China.
Anatomical evidence for the antiquity of human footwear: Tianyuan and Sunghir
Erik Trinkaus and Hong Shang
Trinkaus [Trinkaus, E., 2005. Anatomical evidence for the antiquity of human footwear use. J. Archaeol. Sci. 32, 1515–1526] provided a comparative biomechanical analysis of the proximal pedal phalanges of western Eurasian Middle Paleolithic and Middle Upper Paleolithic humans, in the context of those of variably shod recent humans. The anatomical evidence indicated that supportive footwear was rare in the Middle Paleolithic but became frequent by the Middle Upper Paleolithic. Based on that analysis, additional data are provided for the Middle Upper Paleolithic (not, vert, similar27,500 cal BP) Sunghir 1 and the earlier (not, vert, similar40,000 cal BP) Tianyuan 1 modern humans. Both specimens exhibit relatively gracile middle proximal phalanges in the context of otherwise robust lower limbs. The former specimen reinforces the association of footwear with pedal phalangeal gracility in the Middle Upper Paleolithic. Tianyuan 1 indicates a greater antiquity for the habitual use of footwear than previously inferred, predating the emergence of the Middle Upper Paleolithic.