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Dead Man's Boots

The remains of a man who died around 500 years ago has been recovered from the mud on the banks of the Thames. It is thought he could have been a fisherman or a mudlark, a person who scavenged in the river mud looking for anything of value.

From the unusual position of the man's limbs he could have fallen or been pushed. His clothing had deteriorated over time but quite remarkably his boots were preserved by being buried in the mud. The footwear, made from leather and stitched with a flax thread were simple single soled items with "clumped" additional leather on the soles and heels. Additionally they were much higher in the leg than any other footwear found from this period. There is also evidence of moss being used as a lining, possibly an insulation to keep his feet and legs warm.

Just goes to show how remarkable leather can be.


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