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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Skeleton Wearing Leather Boots Recovered From River Thames

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

London leather bootsLONDON, ENGLAND—Londonist reports that a 500-year-old male skeleton still wearing a pair of thigh-high leather boots has been discovered in the mud of the River Thames in south London. The man is unlikely to have been buried in the river wearing such valuable footwear, according to Beth Richardson of MOLA Headland. She thinks he may have died while working as a fisherman, a sailor, or someone who scavenged for items of value in the river mud. Examination of the bones indicates he was under the age of 35 at the time of death. His teeth bear grooves worn from repetitive action, perhaps passing a rope between them, and his boots were equipped with layers of soles and stuffed with moss for protection in rough terrain. For more on archaeology in London, go to “Haunt of the Resurrection Men.”

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