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500-Year-Old Skeleton Found In London River Still Working Some Thigh-High Boots 😮

London is currently digging through the ground to build their new “super sewer,” a $5.4 billion addition to the city’s plumbing system that’s meant to “capture, store and transfer raw sewage and rainwater that currently overflows into the river.” An unexpected upside of all the tunneling is the discovery of many archaeological artifacts, which a scientific team is on hand to document.

One of the most exciting remnants of the past came in the form of a 500-year-old male skeleton, found lying face down in the mud. While all skeletons are important to archaeologists, this one was especially interesting because of what he was wearing: knee-high, leather boots.

While the boots may be quite fashionable, the scientists aren’t interested in them for how nice they look. During Tudor times, which is when the man died, leather was an incredibly expensive product, so the boots would likely have been removed by the man’s family if he had died of natural causes. The boots’ presence suggests the man died on the banks of the Thames River before his time, and may even give clues as to how.

Beth Richardson, a finds specialist at MOLA Headland, detailed what the footwear may reveal:

“By studying the boots we’ve been able to gain a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of a man who lived as many as 500 years ago. They have helped us to better understand how he may have made his living in hazardous and difficult conditions, but also how he may have died. It has been a privilege to be able to study something so rare and so personal.”

The boots appeared to have multiple soles and what appears to be moss stuffed into them, perhaps for extra lining in difficult conditions.

By examining the bones, a research company has also determined the man was about 35 years old and has deep trenches in his teeth, likely caused “by a repetitive action, like passing rope between his teeth as a fisherman might.”

Twitter was intrigued by the man’s mysterious life…

Of course, the boots themselves also got a shout out.

The man couldn’t possibly have known 500 years ago that his death would help the people of the future learn more about the time he was alive.

H/T – The Guardian, CNN

Written by Collin Gossel

Collin Gossel is a writer and comedian living in Brooklyn, New York, but there are nights when he looks up at the stars and wistfully thinks to himself “there’s got to be more out there…” You can catch Collin improvising new musicals every Tuesday night at the Magnet Theater’s Musical Megawatt, or follow his unfiltered thoughts on Twitter and Instagram @CollinGossel.--