During an expedition, back in 2008, Jim Brett has revealed some prehistoric footprints. He immediately knew he had made a great discovery. After further analysis, these footmarks proved to be the oldest set of human footprints ever unveiled in Africa. The marks were covering a location which could be as big as a tennis court. Jim Brett had thought of contacting a geologist at Appalachian State University, name Cynthia Liutkus-Pierce.
After the geologist had decided to go together with Mr. Brett in Tanzania to see the prehistoric footprints, she was amazed. She was always interested in discovering and analyzing footprints which pertained to our ancestors. All these traces can communicate a lot of data about our ancestors and our origins. Dr. Liutkus-Pierce felt overwhelmed by this discovery.
Liutkus-Pierce published this research last month in Paleogeography, Paleoclimatology, Paleoecology. After further research together with her team, the professor explained that the prehistoric footprints were situated near the village of Engaro Sero, close to an active volcano. The footprints were thoroughly analyzed; it has been established that they were from the period situated between 5,000 and 19,000 years ago.
The prehistoric footprints were attested to correspond to our ancestors who lived back then. The experts evaluated the footmarks trying to identify what kind of life people were leading in those times when temperatures were continuously changing, affecting their habits. Briana Pobiner, who is a member of Liutkus-Pierce’s team and also a paleoanthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History, has argued that the analysis of the footprints would reveal more about the organization of a group or their hunting activities.
The National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration supported the excavation of the prehistoric footprints discovered close to Engare Sero. The researchers who had participated in this study rushed to analyze the age of the mud in which the footmarks were inscribed in. At first, they thought that the footprints date back the time when the volcano erupted, about 120,000 years ago. After evaluating the ashes that had remained from volcano’s lava, they revealed that the footprints were only 19,000 years old.
Researchers claim that they have discovered more than twenty series of steps which corresponded to different persons.
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