Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Shoes Made the Man (and Child)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

SEATTLE—Roman children living at the military outpost of Vindolanda were dressed to reflect their parents’ social status from very young ages, according to research presented by Elizabeth Greene of the University of Western Ontario at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America. More than 4,000 shoes have been recovered from the Roman fort in northern Britain, and the children’s shoes resemble the adult shoes found in different parts of the site. Elaborate, formal shoes were uncovered in the home of the prefect of the Ninth cohort of Batavians, and simple shoes were found in the barracks. “Even the infant children of the prefect were held to the expectations of dress according to one’s class,” she explained.