Scientists uncover some of the first modern footsteps

Scientists have uncovered footprints that are believed to have been left at the dawn of modern humanity.
By Cliff Mooneyham | Nov 03, 2016
Scientists have uncovered footprints that are believed to have been left at the dawn of modern humanity.

The footsteps were found in Tanzania close to the base of what locals call the Mountain of God. The footprints found create an intricate pattern across a barren landscape. There are both straightforward paths and those of people who were presumably wandering or meandering. There is great detail to be found in the sun scorched earth in which the foot prints have been preserved.

The collection of footprints, which extend over an area approximately the size of a tennis court, is one of the largest collection of ancient human footprints in the world and undoubtedly the most impressive on the continent of Africa. Geologist, Cynthia Liutkus Pierce, was on site to actually uncover the footprints. The findingby her and her colleagues was published in the journal,Palaeogeography, Palaeocimatology, Palaeoecology.

There were approximately 400 footprints excavated from the area. They had been lying underneath a primary layer of mud that was left by a flood and then a secondary layer of mud. In all, the footprints had been covered and preserved for what scientists believe to have been almost 19,000 years.

Now that the footprints have been excavated and exposed to sunlight, Liutkus Pierce and her colleagues believe they have found a window into the ancient Tanzanian world. The team is hoping to utilize the footprints in order to understand the society and its structure at the end of the Pleistocene era.

 

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