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Skating Traced Back 4,000 Years

Skates made of horse bonesThe world's first skaters are likely to have taken to the ice about 4,000 years ago on the frozen lakes of Finland, according to a UK-based research team.

They seem to have used skates made out of horse bones, Dr Federico Formenti of Oxford University, co-author of a paper on the subject said. He added that the skates were fun to use and compared well with modern equivalents.

Instead of walking all the way around the lake, he said, people found it much easier to travel between towns by skating or walking across the ice.

These early skaters would, he believes, stand on two horse bones and propel themselves with a stick.

One thing Finland's ice-borne ancestors were probably not, however, is fast: the research team attained an average speed of about 8km/h (5mph) compared to modern speed-skaters whizzing by at speeds of up to 60km/h (37).

Source: BBC
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