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Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Million Year Old Footprints in the UK?



What is in a footprint? A footprint can tell you a lot about people who walked there. It also tells you about their depth, size, impression angle, and location that can give you all types of clues such as where they are heading, their general size, whether they are carrying something, or even their gender. When the footprints are 780,000 to million years old and have never been seen before in the area it can lead you to a whole bunch of new conclusions.

Researchers in Happisburg, Norfolk in the UK found footprints when moving sand. They took some pictures and measurements before the water washed them away. It is a rare find to have long preserved footprints as most are destroyed right away without having the right circumstances that solidify them.

It is believed that they were made by the Homo antecessor which is human or near human. The footprints indicate it was a group of around five people of different ages and genders. It may have been a family making its way to some location. Outside of this discovery the only other known place in Europe to have markings is Northern Spain.

The discovery is unique as it changes the balance of when humans were expected to have arrived in Europe. In this case they were around a million years ago. That changes a few assumptions about the island and the nature of its people. It appears that Europe was being explored earlier than expected.  


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