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Bata Shoe Museum Member Lectures to be held on April 16
28
Mar '08
Bata Shoe Museum Member Lectures will be held on 16th April, 2008.

Discovering Treasure: Bata Shoe Museum Member Lectures
Ceramic Boot Vessels: Fashions and Symbolism from the Ancient World
Illustrated talk by Amy Barron, Dept. of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, UofT.
Presented by the Bata Shoe Museum & the Canadian Society for Mesopotamian Studies

The Bata Shoe Museum has several examples of a very rare and unusual artifact from the ancient Near East, ceramic containers made in the shape of boots with upturned toes.

These ceramic boot vessels appear geographically from northwestern Iran to central Turkey between the years 1800 – 800 BCE.

They can also be compared to contemporary booted pouring vessels from the same regions, and later boot-shaped amphora of the Greeks and Etruscans.

Footwear had many symbolic meanings in the ancient world as is indicated in literary, legal and religious texts. In Mesopotamia, shoes were evoked in both curses and blessings, and the Bible describes the use of footwear as a legal symbol of ownership.

Some of the few clearly archaeologically excavated examples of ceramic boot vessels come from what appear to be funerary contexts, suggesting a deeper ritualistic purpose for them.

Come and explore the history and possible meanings behind these beautiful and intriguing artifacts. A fascination with footwear is not a modern phenomenon.

Amy Barron is a PhD candidate in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, at the University of Toronto. She has traveled extensively, studying the sites of the ancient world, and has taken part in archaeological excavations in Israel and Syria.


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