Thursday, October 13, 2016

New ancient footprints?

News reports this morning celebrate newly-discovered footprints "from the dawn of modern humanity."  They aren't.  They're quite recent, actually.  Even by conventional dating, they are at best from the "evening" of modern humanity.  They are near Engare Sero, Tanzania, which is the same general area as the Laetoli prints, but I don't think they're the prints I blogged about this past summer.  Those prints were supposed to be very old and very close to the existing Laetoli tracks.  These new prints are conventionally dated to 10-20 thousand years ago, and it was apparently quite a complicated task to get them dated.

Read all about it in their report:

Liutkus-Pierce et al. 2016. Radioisotopic age, formation, and preservation of Late Pleistocene human footprints at Engare Sero, TanzaniaPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology DOI 10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.09.019.

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