Prehistoric sandals
Scientists have confirmed that sets of sandals found in a bat cave in southern Spain could be up to 6,200 years old. Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
  • In the 19th century, miners found a hunter-gatherer burial site in a bat cave near Granada, Spain.
  • The items included baskets, a mallet, and sets of sandals.
  • Researchers now confirm that the items could be 9,500 to 6,200 years old.

It appears dads could have been making fashion faux pas even since the Stone Age.

Researchers recently confirmed a set of sandals that were discovered in a bat cave near Granada, Spain, in the 19th century could be up to 6,200 years old, according to a study published in Science Advances on Wednesday.

And they may be some of the earliest iterations of the shoes utilitarian and barbecuing dads and fashionistas have come to love.

The dating reveals evidence of basketry — the ancient craft of basket making — in hunter-gatherer communities in southern Europe during the Mesolithic period and the early Neolithic period when societies began to transition to agricultural ways of life.

A team of researchers from the University of Alcalá and the Autonomous University of Barcelona analyzed 76 objects, including baskets, mallets, and sandals, that were discovered by miners two centuries ago while in the bat cave, Cueva de los Murcielagos, a press release from the Barcelona school stated.

Scientists previously found that bones discovered in the same cave may have been modified to be used as tools and drinking cups.

Using carbon-14 dating, which allows scientists to determine the age of an organic material, the Alcalá and Barcelona researchers determined that the 76 objects were between 6,200 and 9,500 years old.

Although there has been evidence of basketry dating back tens of thousands of years, basket weaving is often not tied with the hunter-gatherer societies of the Mesolithic era and is more associated with a sedentary lifestyle offered through an agrarian culture that dominated the Neolithic period.

"The quality and technological complexity of the basketry makes us question the simplistic assumptions we have about human communities prior to the arrival of agriculture in southern Europe," Francisco Martínez Sevilla, a researcher from the University of Alcalá said in the press release.

Not exactly Nike Air

The sandals, a pair of which had been on display at the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, were made from crushed esparto grass which could have allowed the footwear to be flexible, according to the study.

One set of sandals is believed to have "a small group of fibers" that may have been meant to go between the first and second toes, the study said — much like the strap found on flip-flops.

Researchers also identified a "braid fixed to the middle of the sandal" that could have gone around the ankle.

"This sandal set therefore represents the earliest and widest-ranging assemblage of prehistoric footwear, both in the Iberian Peninsula and in Europe, unparalleled at other latitudes," the study said.

Some of the sandals showed signs of being worn, while others appeared unused, suggesting that some individuals had clothes prepared for them when they were buried, according to the study.

"The esparto grass objects from Cueva de los Murciélagos are the oldest and best-preserved set of plant fiber materials in southern Europe so far known," María Herrero Otal, a researcher and co-author of the study said in the press release. "The technological diversity and the treatment of the raw material documented demonstrates the ability of prehistoric communities to master this type of craftsmanship, at least since 9,500 years ago, in the Mesolithic period."

As to whether the sandals were rocked with socks — that fashion offense wouldn't appear until several millennia later.

Read the original article on Business Insider