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800,000-year-old human footprints discovered

Posted on Friday, 7 February, 2014 | Comment icon 34 comments

The team worked to document the footprints. Image Credit: YouTube / Natural History Museum
The earliest known human footprints outside of Africa have been uncovered on England's east coast.
The footprints were discovered after tidal sand erosion had revealed a set of unusual hallows in the underlying rock. Researchers battled both the elements and the clock to document the prints as best they could before the waves washed them away completely.

Described by Dr Nick Ashton of the British Museum as one of the most important discoveries ever made on the shores of Britain, the footprints are thought to belong to an early species of human that lived in Europe and made its way to the British Isles across a land bridge that once existed over the English Channel.

"When I was told about the footprints, I was absolutely stunned," said Dr Isabelle De Groote who conducted an analysis of the prints from 3D scans. "They appear to have been made by one adult male who was about 5ft 9in (175cm) tall and the shortest was about 3ft. The other larger footprints could come from young adult males or have been left by females."

Source: BBC News | Comments (34)

Tags: Early Man, Human

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #25 Posted by pallidin on 8 February, 2014, 23:15
Somehow I question the story. I mean, 800,000 years and they were preserved but "washed-away" in 2-weeks within our time. So there were no serious tidal events in that area for 800,000 years. I seriously doubt this.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Eldorado on 8 February, 2014, 23:32
Happisburgh, on the north Norfolk coast, has a remarkable concentration of early Stone Age sites, all of which have been discovered since 2000. These sites are buried under thick glacial sediments and are only exposed as a result of coastal erosion. Since 2005, archaeologists from the Ancient Human Occupation of Britain (AHOB) Project have been working with local experts to excavate artefacts from an ancient river channel, known as Happisburgh Site 3. This river was the ancestral river Thames, which flowed into the North Sea 150 kilometres north of its present day estuary. http://www.britishmu... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by pallidin on 9 February, 2014, 5:08
OK. Well, I guess they're the experts, certainly not me. Perhaps I should retract my "disbelief" Thanks for the additional info.
Comment icon #28 Posted by Purifier on 9 February, 2014, 12:57
The sea wasn't always as high as it is now. Before the end of the last Ice Age, for several thousand years Great Britain had a larger land mass and was attached to Europe. So I doubt any water would of reached that far inland, before the end of the Ice Age.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Eldorado on 9 February, 2014, 14:35
OK. Well, I guess they're the experts, certainly not me. Perhaps I should retract my "disbelief" Thanks for the additional info. I forgot to add an 'lol' to the end of that post. Disbelief is your right.
Comment icon #30 Posted by qxcontinuum on 12 February, 2014, 5:54
It is close to the water again. Water ape evolution tory anyone?
Comment icon #31 Posted by Rlyeh on 12 February, 2014, 6:37
It is close to the water again. Water ape evolution tory anyone? So the "water ape" instantly turned into humans once setting foot on land?
Comment icon #32 Posted by Peter B on 12 February, 2014, 13:14
It is close to the water again. Water ape evolution tory anyone? Nah. Just gone fishin'.
Comment icon #33 Posted by Frank Merton on 12 February, 2014, 13:30
If I got it right, the footprints were from an earlier species that went extinct when the ice age covered Britain and were later replaced several hundred thousand years later by Neanderthals and about 40,000 years ago by our more direct ancestors.
Comment icon #34 Posted by JesseCuster on 13 February, 2014, 20:22
It is close to the water again. Water ape evolution tory anyone? I was walking down my local beach today and saw dog footprints in the sand.Water wolf evolution theory anyone?

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