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SCIENCE, SOCIOLOGY, RELIGION => Science and Technology => Topic started by: Makini on February 10, 2014, 09:10:34 PM

Title: Rough seas uncover earliest human footprints outside of Africa
Post by: Makini on February 10, 2014, 09:10:34 PM
Rough seas uncover earliest human footprints outside of Africa

By Kev Hedges
Feb 7, 2014

Happisburgh - Human footprints have been discovered on a beach on the Norfolk coastline in England, said to be more than 800,000 years old. The footprints are the oldest discovered outside the African continent.

The footprints have provided scientists with clear evidence that prehistoric humans were active and existed in northern Europe. According to Nick Ashton of the British Museum the find is said to be, "one of the most important discoveries, if not the most important discovery that has been made on [Britain's] shores," and the find could rewrite the history and understanding of humans who occupied parts of Britain and Europe.

The first indication of the markings of the footprints were discovered last May 2013, when an exceptionally low tide and rough seas had revealed the several hollows. There are only three other sets of footprints that are older than the ones found in Happisburgh, all of which are located in Africa, reports BBC Science.

The scientists had to work against the clock before the next high tide came in and washed the evidence away. But the find was videoed and will be shown at the Natural History Museum in March.


Title: Re: Rough seas uncover earliest human footprints outside of Africa
Post by: Makini on February 10, 2014, 09:14:40 PM
Oldest 'Out Of Africa' Human Footprints Found On British Coast

Scott Neuman February 7, 2014

The oldest human ancestors to have walked on the British Isles left nothing except footprints. But they've made quite an impression on the world of science.

Researchers say 50 or so prints found on a beach near the village of Happisburg in Norfolk are the oldest known human footprints outside Africa. They were discovered last spring by a team of experts from the British Museum, the Natural History Museum and Queen Mary University of London.

The footprints are thought to be those of Homo antecessor, or Pioneer Man. The findings are published in the latest issue of PLOS ONE.

It's thought that the impressions were made by a group of at least two large adult males, two or three adult females or teenagers and at least three or four children. The early humans would have gazed out at the north entrance to the English Channel as they strolled along the shore sometime between 800,000 and 1 million years ago.

The footprints represent "one of the most important archaeological discoveries ever made in Britain," The Independent writes.

They were discovered in a 430-foot-square area of shoreline at low tide, as heavy waves briefly washed away the silt to expose the prints.

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