Bronze Age Ice Skates Found in China

News March 9, 2023

(Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology)
China Bone Blade
(Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology)

XINJIANG, CHINA—According to a Live Science report, 3,500-year-old ice skates have been found in a tomb at the Goaotai Ruins in western China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The Goaotai Ruins, thought to have been inhabited by cattle herders of the Andronovo culture, consists of a settlement and a well-preserved tomb complex surrounded by a platform of stone slabs. Made from straight pieces of bone taken from oxen and horses, the skates have holes at both ends to strap the flat “blade” to footwear. Ruan Qiurong of the Xinjiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology said that the skates are almost exactly the same as 5,000-year-old skates discovered in Finland, and may reflect the exchange of ideas during the Bronze Age. To read about the genetic origins of enigmatic mummies found in the Tarim Basin, go to "Around the World: China."

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