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. Shoe Shopping Provides 40,000 Years Of Physiotherapy

A 26,000 year-old early modern human, DolniVestonice 16 from the Czech Republic, showing the reduced strength of the bones of the lesser toes. It is one of three partial foot skeletons from Dolni Vestonice that shows the reduced lesser toe strength, all dating to about 26,000 years ago. Erik Trinkaus / Czech Academy of Sciences.

St. Louis (UPI) Aug 24, 2005
Modern-type supportive shoes came into existence between 26,000 and 40,000 years ago, a Washington University professor has determined.

Erik Trinkaus, a professor of physical anthropology, argues early humans living in far northern climates began placing insulation on their feet around 500,000 years ago. But frequency of use and the actual mechanical protection provided by the footwear was unclear.

Lacking physical evidence, Trinkaus analyzed the foot bones of western Eurasian Middle Paleolithic and middle Upper Paleolithic humans.

"I discovered the bones of the little toes of humans from that time frame were much less strongly built than those of their ancestors, while their leg bones remained large and strong," Trinkaus said. "The most logical cause would be the introduction of supportive footwear."

During barefoot walking, the smaller toes flex for traction, keeping the toe bones strong, he explained. Supportive footwear lessens the roll of the little toes, thus weakening them.

His research appeared in the July issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.

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Japanese Eating Champion Wins Hong Kong Contest, Downs 100 Buns In 12 Mins
Hong Kong (AFP) Aug 14, 2005
A Japanese eating champion beat five local challengers to win his first contest in Hong Kong on Sunday, gulping down 100 roasted pork buns in just 12 minutes.

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