Study Suggests Bronze Age Ice Skates Discovered In China Were Imported From Europe


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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A 3,500-year-old pair of ice skates were discovered in a mountainous area of China, archaeologists claimed in late February.

Researchers investigating the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region discovered the oldest-known skates in a tomb in the Gaotai Ruins, according LiveScience. The skates are made out of the bones of oxen and horse, but it is unclear whether they were used for sport, hunting, or regular travel throughout the region.

The design is unique, made of a very flat blade that forms a cutting edge allowing users to glide over ice, LiveScience continued. Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archeology researcher Ruan Qiurong said the newly-discovered skates are almost exactly the same as some found in prehistoric Europe.

Such evidence suggests that ancient Europeans and Asians may have developed trade networks, either of physical goods or knowledge, Qiurong suggested. He furthered that the materials used in the manufacturing of the skates were rare for the region, suggesting that Europeans may have imported them to the region. (RELATED: Mayan ‘Superhighways’ Suggest We Need To Rethink How Advanced Our Ancestors Really Were)

A statement from the researchers noted that a slew of other pieces were found at the site, including 40 wooden vehicle components, 11 solid wooden wheels, and more than 30 components for wooden construction. It’s the second crazy discovery from China in as many months. In February, scientists uncovered what appeared to be a 2,400-year-old flush toilet in Yueyang City.