Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lecture notes: Tutankhamun's Footwear

The Independent Collegian

Most would almost never expect a well-established archaeologist who lives and works in both Europe and Egypt to say anything along the lines of "I don't fancy seeing the mummy."

However, those were the words of Dr. André Veldmeijer on Oct 8, when he came to the Toledo Museum of Art to give a speech entitled "Tutankhamun's Footwear."

Veldmeijer, originally from Amsterdam, is the author of the new book "Tutankhamun's Footwear: Studies of Ancient Egyptian Footwear" and has conducted the first-ever study of the shoes found in this pharaoh's tomb. He is also the chairman of the web-based Netherlands scientific journals, PalArch, and is a part of the Archaelogical Institute of America (AIA), as well as the Ancient Egyptian Footwear Project (AEFP).

While this archaeologist may not be intrigued by any part of tightly wrapped corpses, his interest is certainly piqued when it comes to their foot's accessories. Tutankhamun, more commonly known as King Tut, unknowingly provided an ample amount of style and variety for use in Veldmeijer's studies. Excavated from King Tut's tomb alone were 94 pairs of sandals and shoes made with anything from cured leather, to bark, to strong and durable cords constructed from palm leaves.

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