They found their first footprint in 2014. While digging about two feet below the surface in a 20-square inch hole, they saw in the light brown tone an impression of something foot-shaped.
In 2015 and 2016 they returned and expanded the muddy pit. They discovered several more stages in the sediment. The prints were different sizes and pointed in different directions. Most were right feet. When the team finished, they had counted a total of 29, possibly including two adults and one child. Everyone was barefoot.
The researchers think that after people have left their footprints on the clay, their impressions have been filled by sand, thick gravel, and then another layer of clay that they may have conserved.
Using radiocarbon dating on sediments from the base of several footprints as well as two pieces of conserved wood found on the first footprint, Dr. Ing. McLaren and his team 13,000 years old.
That would be
"Not only the footprints themselves are spectacular and so rare in archaeological contexts, but also the age of the site," says Michael Petraglia, archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Human History in Germany, who Work for PLOS One edited, but was not involved in the work. "It indicates early entry into America."
Dr. Petraglia said the footprints also provided strong evidence for the coastal movement hypothesis and added that they may have driven the so-called "Kelp Highway", a hypothesis that underwater jungle forests supported ecosystems along the North Pacific coast that helped old seafarers hunt. develop and migrate.
"The work is important because it shows the" real "people, not just artifacts or skeletal remains," said Steve Webb, a biological archaeologist at Bond University in Australia. "However, the footprints are limited in number and do not highlight activities or movements that tell us a lot."
He added that future footprints should take into account that not all of this time walk around barefoot. If anthropologists are too busy looking for soles, toes, and bows, they might miss clues from those wearing animal skin shoes.
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