Researchers discover largest assemblage of ancient human footprints

Researchers discover largest assemblage of ancient human footprints

A team of anthropologists claimed to have discovered the largest assemblage of ancient human footprints in the northern part of Tanzania, Africa.

Cynthia Liutkus-Pierce and her colleagues found nearly 400-odd footprints, covering a tennis court-size area. The footprints in question were imprinted in deposits made by an ancient flood, dried, subsequently covered up with a layer of mud, which preserved them for nearly 19,000 years.

The researchers estimated that the footprints belonged to the end of the Pleistocene era, when the climate was on a drastic change and Homo sapiens were on the brink of settling down.

Briana Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist from the National Museum of Natural History, “For people who work in prehistory, it’s incredibly rare to get that kind of snapshot in time.”

Most of information about ancient communities has been reconstructed from scattered tools, animal bones and exhumed skeletons dug up from long-gone garbage pits. But, the Engare Sero prints are expected to tell scientists exactly who lived in the region, how they were related to one another and which direction they moved to.

The discovery of the ancient human footprints was reported in a recent issue of the peer-reviewed scientific journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology (Palaeo3).