Researchers on Wednesday published details on the discovery of footprints that were 13,000 years old. The fingerprints were found on the shores of an island north of Vancouver, and scientists said they were the oldest ever found in North America.
LiveScience reported that the footprints – 29 in total – are from two barefoot adults and one child. They left the prints in the wet clay near the water's edge on Calvert Island.
The age of the site is also notable, scientists said, "suggesting an early entrance in the Americas," said Michael Petraglia, an archaeologist.
The LiveScience report said archaeologists were amazed at how well the footprints were preserved. Scientists could determine the sizes of the feet: the child was a junior size 1; while one of the adults wore a size 3 woman and the other the size of a man of 7.
The island is now dense with forests and can only be reached by boat.
Duncan McLaren, anthropologist at the Hakai Institute and The University of Victoria, British Columbia, said in an interview that the find "provided evidence that humans lived in the region at the end of the last ice age."
"It is possible that the coast was one of the means. At that time, people arrived in America," he said, according to the New York Times.
Scientists determined the age of footprints with the help of radiocarbon.
"Ultimately, the data appears to provide indisputable evidence of human presence." Kevin Hatala, assistant professor of biology at Chatham University, said of Live Science. "This is important because archaeological sites of that time and place were very rare."