Footprints Found in Britain May Be Oldest Discovered Outside Africa

Footprints Found in Britain May Be Oldest Discovered Outside Africa

The footprints, found on England's eastern coast, are more than 780,000 years old.

Scientists in the UK have discovered what may be the oldest human footprints outside of Africa on England's eastern coast. The footprints were discovered in Happisburg, Norfolk last May, and a study published Februry 7 in the journal Plos One describes the find and the species believed to have left them. The ancient mud where the footprints were preserved has been dated to between 780,000 and one million years ago. The oldest known footprints are preserved in volcanic ash at Laetoli in Tanzania, and are 3.66 million years old.

Footprints are a rare find. For a footprint to be preserved, the imprint must face minimal erosion but also be quickly covered by sediment. The footprints at Happisburgh were made in the mud of an estuary. When beach sand was removed from the site, tidal erosion caused by waves uncovered the footprints. Researchers used laser scanning and multi-image photogrammetry to record the footprints. A few weeks after their discovery, the waves had completely eroded the footprints.

The study analyzed 115 hollows believed to be footprints. The length and width of the hollows are consistent with the ranges expected for adult and juvenile hominins, the group of species that include modern humans and our immediate ancestors. Accurate measurements of length and width from twelve prints with complete outlines showed that at least five individuals, of different ages, made the prints. Height can estimated from foot length, and the group that left the footprints ranged in height from just over 3 feet to 5 feet 9 inches tall. The spread suggests that adults and children were part of the group. Based on the estimated heights, foot sizes, and foot area, the researchers conclude that the footprints were most likely made by Homo antecessor. H. antecessor lived between 800,000 and 1.2 million years ago, and the only known fossils of H. antecessor are from northern Spain. Other circumstantial evidence for the presence of H. antecessor in Happisburg comes from stone tools discovered by the same research team in 2010.

Dr. Nick Ashton of The British Museum of Natural History told BBC News, "[The discovery] will rewrite our understanding of the early human occupation of Britain and indeed of Europe." The British Museum will show video of the footprints at an exhibition starting later this month.

Source: Plos One via BBC News

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That's lies, according to these guys > http://creationmuseum.org/ < life only started 6000 years ago. They have a website so it must be true!

Leviano:
That's lies, according to these guys > http://creationmuseum.org/ < life only started 6000 years ago. They have a website so it must be true!

a website with .org?

seems legit, MUST BELIEVE IT.

OT: this is really interesting, sad that it was washed away so quickly, but hopefully they can find more things like this now that they know it existed in these areas.

It's hard to believe that something lasted so long for nearly a million years. Then washed away so easily afterwards.

Leviano:
That's lies, according to these guys > http://creationmuseum.org/ < life only started 6000 years ago. They have a website so it must be true!

Just...wow. I'm a pretty "live and let live" kind of person when it comes to peoples faiths and beliefs but when i see stuff like this there is a little bit of my brain that wonders, should we just ban organised religion for the public good?

OT: I love it when things like this are discovered, it reminds us of how little we really do know about early humans and gives us another little glimps of a different time.

Upbeat Zombie:
It's hard to believe that something lasted so long for nearly a million years. Then washed away so easily afterwards.

Truthfully I'm a bit skeptical myself, it would take a lot to convince me beyond doubt that they can prove those impressions have been there that long, and undisturbed. Nature, animals, human habitation, etc... I just can't see it happening.

Next thing you know someone will say they found a toenail chunk fossilized in the mud, and is going to begin cloning it's DNA... only to find out it's one of the aliens that seeded humanity, but in it's imperfectly cloned state it is insane and feral and will go on a rampage.... at which point I'll be looking to see if Roger Corman's name shows up in the credits. :)

Before anyone makes a crack, I'm not saying this because I'm Christian (I am not a deeply spiritual one, believe in science, evolution, and have no doubts that the world is far more than 6,000 years old or whatever), but simply because this seems pretty much impossible to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, and you would need to prove it that well for something this radical.

It's sort of like a movie I tried to watch where some kids started a craze by saying a pile of poop in the woods came from big foot (or something like that). I generally can't endure something that inane unless the movie promises some female nudity and at least one good monster (either a cool one, or one so cheezy it's suckiness implodes on itself causing it to become cool ironically). :)

'And did those feet in ancient time, walk upon Englands mountains green...?' ~ William Blake

Seems so old boy, seems so...

Now we need to find the Holy Lamb of God, the bow of burning gold, the arrows of desire, the spear of clouds unfold and the chariot of fire!

Can't wait for the EDL or BNP to get hold of this and start complaining about immigrants coming over here, stealing our caves.

 

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