Internet articles about the Xinjiang skates

This is just a list of links with some comments. It’s an interesting example of how a story spreads and grows despite a lack of reliable new information.

Here’s the press release from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences by Zhou Ye (2/27/2023, in Chinese). It focuses on the non-skate finds and has roughly the same information as Kang’s article published the day before. See also my post about these skates, which is the only reference to my book that I’ve seen so far.


Short article by huaxia—bare-bones press release from Urum that was taken up by other English-language outlets for Chinese news. Reprints include:


Article by Lou Kang in the Global Times (with photo); adds context and references early skiing in the Altai region. Reprints and derivatives include:


Miami Herald article by Aspen Pflughoeft; cites Kang and adds more context, including statements about the development of skates from bone skates to today’s all-metal blades and a link to a photo of a skate at the Museum of London; mentions “both pairs of skates”—previous stories just say “skates” and show the original photo of one, so perhaps this is drawing on the photo from the Ancient Origins article

  • The History Blog article (3/9/23, cites Metcalfe and quotes the “two pairs” invention of Plfughoeft)
  • Greek Reporter article by Abdul Moeed (3/9/23; includes the photo of four medieval Scandinavian bone skates from the Swedish History Museum correctly credited to the creator but mislabeled as “Bronze Age Ice Skates”; mentions “two pairs”)


Interesting Engineering article by Nergis Firtina with some garbled information about the early history of ice skating; cites Taub but runs off on its own. Reprints include:


LiveScience article by Tom Metcalfe that connects the skates to the unfortunate tale that skating began in Finland and to early skiing in the Altai Mountains. Derivatives include:


Video from The Prehistory Guys with a lot wrong: the picture from the Swedish History Museum and incorrect information about early European skates—but at least it puts the earliest ones in Switzerland instead of Finland, which is closer!