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  • Basalt bas-relief of tributaries carrying gifts and dues to King Shalmaneser III of Assyria.
  • Magnifying Glass

Tributaries carrying gifts to Kina Shalmaneser III. 9th C-BCE.
British Museum, London, Great Britain
Erich Lessing/Art Resource NY


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Miniature painting of a Turkoman or Mongol chief holding an arrow by Reza Jahangir Shah, c. 1591-92.
© Stapleton Collection/CORBIS

Asia

Iran

Iran's long and complex cultural history has resulted in highly varied and interesting examples of footwear. In the Amlash and Luristan regions of Northern Iran and in Azerbaidjan, excavations of graves have recovered numerous ceramic vessels and amulets, many of which are in the shape of boots with distinctive upturned toes. One theory contends that they were grave goods offered to the deceased with wishes for a safe journey to the next life. It is also in Persia that we should look for the inspiration for the Western high heel, an innovation that still impacts fashion today.