Researchers excavating an Armenian cave have discovered the world's oldest shoe -- a cowhide lace-up encased in a pile of sheep dung, The New York Times reports.
(Ew. We suspect even Imelda Marcos might give this one a pass.)
Tanned in oils from a plant or vegetable and bearing leather eyelets for its laces, the right shoe reportedly pre-dates Stonehenge, the Egyptian pyramids and Joan Rivers.
"These were probably quite expensive shoes, made of leather, very high quality," Gregory Areshian of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, a lead scientist on the project, told the paper.
The shoe is estimated to date back to the Copper Age, around 3653 to 3627 B.C., and would fit a woman (or petite man) with a size 7 foot, according to The New York Times.
Scientists told the source that the shoe appears to have been deliberately preserved, with grass stuffing and yellow clay lining keeping its shape intact. (Nice to know ancient gals were as shoe-obsessed as we are.)
"You can see the imprints of the big toe," another team leader, Ron Pinhasi of Ireland's University College Cork, told the paper.
"As the person was wearing and lacing it, some of the eyelets had been torn and repaired."
The discovery was reportedly made after the National Geographic Society-funded researchers found other artifacts, including horns, pottery, and something doctoral student Diana Zardaryan thought felt like "an ear of a cow."
"But when I took it out, I thought, 'Oh my God, it's a shoe,'" she told the paper. "To find a shoe has always been my dream."
Ah -- a woman after our own hearts!
So who was this Copper Age Carrie Bradshaw? We may never know... but it makes for one heck of a good, old-school Cinderella story.
In other shoe news, read about this government-funded "Sexy Heels in the City" college course.