Scientists discover the oldest homo sapien footprint, reshaping human history forever

A team of researchers has unveiled seven footprints from our homo sapien ancestors, one of which dates back a staggering 153,000 years.

1 minute & 16 seconds read time

A recently published study has unveiled seven hominin footprints along South Africa's Cap south coast, with one of the footprints now being the oldest ever recorded.

 (A) stratigraphy showing ichnosite location; (B) 3D photogrammetry model of hominin track

(A) stratigraphy showing ichnosite location; (B) 3D photogrammetry model of hominin track

The findings were published in an article in Ichnos, the international journal of trace fossils, and details the footprints that were left by our distant human ancestors. According to the study, these findings conclude that the Cape South coast was a region that featured an abundance of homo sapiens, with many of our distant relatives exploring far and even to other continents. Notably, these seven footprints are part of what is called the South African cluster, which is nine total footprints in the region.

How are these footprints still around? Unlike some sites that require excavation, the sites mentioned in the study are fully exposed on the surface and are embedded in aeolianites, which are ancient cemented dunes. Despite being able to be identified as homo sapien footprints, they're exposed to the natural elements leading them to be vulnerable to erosion and thus, preservation and, by extension, scientific interpretation.

However, researchers used optically stimulated luminescence as a dating method, which is a measuring technique that looks at the time elapsed since the sand grains were first exposed to sunlight.

"We found that the sites ranged in age; the most recent dates back about 71,000 years. The oldest, which dates back 153,000 years, is one of the more remarkable finds recorded in this study: it is the oldest footprint thus far attributed to our species, Homo sapiens," writes the researchers.

For more information on this story, check out this link here.

Buy at Amazon

Diablo IV - PlayStation 5

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
Buy at Newegg
* Prices last scanned on 10/2/2023 at 6:31 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

Newsletter Subscription

Related Tags