Don’t miss out on this incredible story of a local resident’s remarkable finds that have captured the attention of the nation.

Don't miss out on this incredible story of a local resident's remarkable finds that have captured the attention of the nation.

Ramsgate Resident’s Find of UK’s Oldest Shoe and Neolithic Leather Featured on BBC’s Digging For Britain

A local Kent resident has made a groundbreaking discovery that has caught the attention of the nation. Steve Tomlinson, from Birchington, recently appeared on the popular BBC show Digging For Britain after unearthing the UK’s oldest shoe and an incredibly rare piece of leather dating back 4488 years.

Tomlinson, a professional archaeologist, made the astounding finds on a foreshore in the north of the county. The shoe, believed to have been worn by a toddler 3,000 years ago, is not only the oldest in the UK but also the smallest in the world. The Neolithic leather, also discovered by Tomlinson, is thought to have been part of a bag and is tanned with a waterproof substance. It dates back to the same time Stonehenge was constructed.

The 51-year-old was thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase his remarkable discoveries on national television. Tomlinson described the experience as an “honour” and stated that it still hasn’t fully sunk in. “To actually find the oldest shoe ever is extremely special and to get the chance to show it on TV is absolutely fantastic,” he said.

The shoe was found in September 2022, and the leather was discovered just 60 feet away on March 23, 2023. Both items have since been taken in by the British Museum. Tomlinson cannot reveal the exact location of the finds in North Kent, but he did mention that they were dug up from anaerobic conditions.

The ancient footwear, which measures 15cm in length, is a significant discovery. In 2005, a 2,000-year-old shoe found in Somerset was believed to be the oldest in the UK. However, Tomlinson’s discovery in Kent is even older and has made history as the smallest Bronze Age shoe ever found in the world.

Digging For Britain, which aired on BBC Two at 8pm last night, is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. Tomlinson encourages viewers to watch the episode for a firsthand look at his incredible findings. “It was a fantastic experience and an amazing feeling to think that little bit of leather has turned out to be what it has,” he said. “You never know what’s out there – it’s remarkable.”

Tomlinson’s discoveries have shed new light on ancient civilizations and their use of leather and footwear. His findings have been hailed as a significant contribution to the field of archaeology and have earned him a spot on the national stage.

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