Archaeologists Discover First Ancient Human Footprint

Archaeologists Discover First Ancient Human Footprint

Archaeologists in Kenya have uncovered a set of footprints that date over a million years ago. The discovery marks the second-oldest prints by human ancestors.

Archaeologists have discovered a set of footprints in Kenya dating from 1.5 million years ago. The series of footprints show adults and one child walking on the banks of a river. Scientists believe that the humans were about 5 feet 9 inches in height.

“Now we know that 1.5 million years ago, Homo erectus had feet with an anatomy very similar to modern humans. It could essentially walk with the same biomechanical efficiency as you or I,” Matthew Bennett, of Bournemouth University, said in a statement.

The ancient humans walked in a similar way as we do today. The footprints are likely left by a human ancestor called the Homo erectus. Archaeologists believe that the ancestors might’ve been searching for food along the beach.

“It was kind of creepy excavating these things to see all of a sudden something that looks so dramatically like something that you yourself could have made 20 minutes earlier in some kind of wet sediment just next to the site,” David Braun, archaeologist from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, said in a statement.

Scientists from the site claim that it’s the most important discovery for the modern day human species. Humans, also known as Homo sapiens, first appeared 200,000 years ago. However, the footprints discovered were left more than 1.5 million years ago.

While it is unknown when humans began wearing sandals to cover their feet, the ancient prints indicate that the ancestors preferred to walk barefoot. The big toe was parallel to the other four with an arch. The other toes were shorter in comparison to modern feet today.

However, the size, spacing, and depth of the footprints show that the weight of human ancestors was similar to modern human beings.

The oldest footprints ever discovered were found in Tanzania. The prints were left 3.75 million years ago.

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