King Tutankhamun’s treasure-packed tomb included 81 pairs of shoes in varying stages of decay. With their heat and humidity, Egyptian tombs aren’t the ideal places to store one’s footwear for the afterlife.
A few were crafted with gold and jewels, some with colored beads; many were made from grass and leaves; the most decayed were made of leather. Three unusual pairs may have been created to accommodate the boy king’s club foot, which may have left him hobbling. They have horizontal straps just below the toes, and one pair has supportive panels around the sides of the shoes, says Andre Veldmeijer, author of the new, 310-page Tutankhamun’s Footwear: Studies of Ancient Egyptian Footwear.
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