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The Trimontium Museum Archive

Leather Shoe: NMS ref

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Video copyright National Museums Scotland

This intricately fine leather shoe was found in one of Trimontium’s pit sites. It has a light upper attached to a strong sole that has been heavily studded with nails. Amateur archaeologist James Curle identified this shoe as a woman’s caliga due to its size and shape. It likely dates from the 1st century CE. This is now on display at NMS, Edinburgh. To see his full 1911 publication online:


(Image shows assorted Trimontium shoes from Curles Volume)

Due to the soil conditions at Trimontium, leather items were incredibly well preserved. Other shoes, especially children’s, have also survived and are shown here. This style of caliga is similar to those found in Mainz, Germany in 1857. A similar style of sandal from Roman Britain can also be found in the collection of the British Museum.

This shoe and others can be seen at the Early Peoples’ Gallery in National Museum Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh.

Other similar leather shoes from Trimontium can be seen at the Trimontium Museum, Melrose, Scottish Borders.

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