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The finding was made during an excavation at the Harbor of Eleutherios, one of the ports of ancient Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire.
Illustrative image of Byzantine footwear. / (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Archaeologists discovered a pair of 1,500-year-old Byzantine-era women’s sandals adorned with a message inscribed in Greek, Ancient Origins reported on Friday.
“Use in health, lady, wear in beauty and happiness,” reads the inscription.
The finding was made during an excavation at the Harbor of Eleutherios, one of the ports of ancient Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, located beneath today’s Yenikapi neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey.
Footwear of the time has been commonly found during excavations, including other sandals, slippers and boots. Other types of clothing discovered have revealed that Byzantines embraced color and patterns and exported expensive cloth, especially Byzantine silk, which was woven and embroidered for the upper classes. Lower classes adorned resist-dyed and printed clothing.
Fashionistas and history buffs can find the shoes at the Istanbul Archaeological Museum where they are being preserved until a permanent home is found.
An archaeologist holds bronze coins from the Byzantine period during a media tour at Israel’s National Treasures Storeroom, Beit Shemesh, March 19, 2017 (credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)
Other Byzantine finds
The Byzantine period, also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, lasted for over 1100 years, from 330-1453.
Excavations of the capital of the Byzantine Empire started in 2004 and have revealed some 60,000 new historical aspects of Constantinople.
In 2021, a team of Turkish archaeologists found a 1,600-year-old fountain while restoring the ancient Boukoleon Palace, one of the oldest Byzantine-era structures in Instanbul.