It is very rare and exciting for researchers to uncover organic material completely intact, like this yucca sandal. Finding organic, perishable material while excavating archeological sites provides information about the specific types of plants and animals people chose to utilize, and how they integrated items they made from these sources into daily life.
Imagine who wore this sandal and the long distances they would have traveled to hunt, collect seeds, or visit extended family members. Sandals like these would have been valuable in this terrain covered in cactus spines and desert thorns. Certainly the person who made this sandal spent many hours separating the fibers of yucca leaves, and meticulously twisting and weaving them together.
This sandal is a pointed-toe style with Z-twist cordage and was woven in a weft-faced plain weave. Similar to ceramic manufacturing techniques and decorations, woven items exhibit specific techniques of manufacture and stylistic variations that archeologists use to date these items. This sandal is also dated by its association with other chronologically distinct artifacts found nearby. Determining an exact date with radiocarbon dating is possible but destructive because a large sample must be used for testing. This sandal dates to the Pueblo I or Pueblo II periods, AD 700 to 1100.
Last updated: February 20, 2020