Before people built #snowshoes, nature provided examples. Several animals, most notably the snowshoe hare, had evolved over the years with oversized feet enabling them to move more quickly through deep snow. The origin and age of snowshoes are not precisely known, although historians believe they were invented from 4,000 to 6,000 years ago, probably starting in Central Asia British archaeologist Jacqui Wood hypothesized that the equipment interpreted to be the frame of a backpack of the Chalcolithic mummy Ötzi was actually part of a snowshoe. Strabo wrote that the inhabitants of the Caucasus used to attach flat surfaces of leather under their feet and that its inhabitants used round wooden surfaces, something akin to blocks, instead. However, the "traditional" webbed snowshoe as we know it today had direct origins to North American indigenous people, e.g., the Huron, Cree, and so forth. Samuel de Champlain wrote, referencing the Huron and Algonquin First Nations, in his travel memoirs (V.III, pg. 164), "Winter, when there is much snow, they (the Indians) make a kind of snowshoe that are two to three times larger than those in France, that they tie to their feet, and thus go on the snow, without sinking into it, otherwise they would not be able to hunt or go from one location to the other". In 2016, Italian scientists reported "the oldest snowshoe in the world" discovered in the Dolomites and dated to between 3800 and 3700 B.C.
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