Hundreds of ancient human footprints found near a volcano in Tanzania

Discussion in 'History' started by Plazma Inferno!, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    Nine miles from the volcano the Maasai call the “Mountain of God,” researchers have cataloged a spectacularly rare find: an enormous set of well-preserved human footprints left in the mud between 5,000 and 19,000 years ago.
    The more than 400 footprints cover an area slightly larger than a tennis court, crisscrossing the dark gray mudflat of Engare Sero, on the southern shore of Tanzania’s Lake Natron. No other site in Africa has as many ancient Homo sapiens footprints—making it a treasure trove for scientists trying to tell the story of humankind’s earliest days.
    Some of the tracks seem to show people jogging through the muck, keeping upwards of a 12-minute-mile pace. Other prints imply a person with a slightly strange, possibly broken big toe.
    Yet more tracks suggest that around a dozen people, mostly women and children, traveled across the mudflat together, striking toward the southwest for parts unknown. The mud tracked it all—including the dirty droplets that fell from their feet with each step.
    The Engare Sero tracks add to an incredibly exclusive catalog of human footprints that have stood the test of time. Australia’s Willandra Lakes site, for instance, has 700 fossil footprints made about 20,000 years ago. And two sites on the South African coast have Homo sapiens tracks dated as far back as 120,000 years ago.
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