The Use of Natural Scientifi c Methods in the Study of Leather Items from Archaeological Excavations
The Use of Natural Scientific Methods in the Study of Leather Items from Archaeological Excavations
State Historical Museum, Krasnaya pl. 1, Moscow, 109012, Russia
This article outlines the results of analyses of footwear and other late medieval and recent leather items. Orthopedic diagnostics are used to assess an early 18th-century woman’s shoe from the historic center of Kaluga. The insole, made of tightly fitted cords, suggests that the shoe had a corrective function. Infrared spectroscopy and liquid chromatography were used to analyze the leather of which the quiver found during the excavations in Moscow was made, and to evaluate the technique whereby its surface was processed. Natural scientific methods were used to study the various types of leather and threads, and to reconstruct the decorative techniques. Leather footwear from the medieval town of Galich, near Kostroma, is compared to that from other Central Russian towns, revealing local variations in footwear and the distribution areas of its types. It is concluded that natural scientific methods are helpful in the study of such finds.
Keywords: History of costume, leather processing, footwear manufacture, archaeological finds, analytical methods, interpretation, multidisciplinary approach