May 21, 2019

The Oldest Human Footprint in the Americas Discovered

The oldest human footprint in the Americas has been discovered in Chile, dating to 15,600 years ago. It was discovered in 2010 at the Pilauco excavation site in Chile where scientists have been digging since 2007. It is in the region of Patagonia. Fossil bones and tools were alongside of it. Radiocarbon dates on organic plant life that was present at the footprint determined the age of the footprint. Based on features such as foot arch, the size of the print, and the width-ratio between the ball of the foot and the lack third segment, scientists were able to conclude the print came from a human male around 22 pounds (10kg) lighter than one of their print makers. Researchers had also found bones of animals near the site, including those of primitive elephants.

The print was  also likely buried fast by layers of soil after it was made, which allowed it to be preserved it to this day.

The print is only 60 miles away from the oldest site in the Americas, Monte Verde, which dates back to 14,600 years ago.

The footprint is now preserved in a glass box and is housed at the recently established Pleistocene Museum in the city of Osorno, Chile. The study was published online April 24 in the journal PLOS One.

LiveScience has the report here with photos;

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