Archaeologists have discovered footprints of people in sediments aged 13,000 years on the Canadian beach

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About how people were settled in various regions of our planet is not yet known. There are some more or less generally accepted theories, but there is no data to complete the mosaic. True, the missing pieces from time to time come across. One of these cases is the relatively recent discovery of traces of a person aged 13,000 years on one of the beaches of Canada.

A team of archaeologists, led by Duncan McLaren from the University of Victoria and the University of Khakai, discovered the prints. In total, scientists have found 29 traces of man on the shore of the island of Calvert , British Columbia. Footprints imprinted on light brown clay, lying at a depth of about 60 cm under sandy sediments.

Radiocarbon analysis showed that the prints were left by people in the time interval from 13317 to 12633 years ago. Thus, it is one of the earliest evidence of human presence in this region.

Scientists believe that this is where the end point of the ancient people’s journey during the ice age may be, when huge amounts of ice spread throughout the Pacific coast. True, there were also ice-free areas where plants grew that gave food to animals. This allowed local ecosystems to exist, part of which later became man.

Most likely, people got here on some ships or rafts. Unfortunately, in the place where traces of ancient people were found, the remnants of the sea transport of these people were not found. By the way, the oldest of all the discovered sea “transport workers” is a canoe aged from 10,200 to 9,600 years old, found in the Netherlands. Despite the fact that in the past the sea level was significantly lower than today, the island of Calvert was an island and then, it was surrounded by water on all sides.

Scientists have previously discovered the parking of people, or simply traces of staying up to 12,700 years old. The prints found in Argentina are more than 14,000 years old, and in Chile they are even more ancient - 14,600. But for the northern regions, the prints found in Canada are the oldest.

Footprints belong to at least 3 people, one of the representatives of the group was still a child. Scientists believe that all prints are made barefoot. Fingers are visible on some of the tracks, so that even thin skin (something like moccasins) would not allow such imprints to be left. Traces of ancient people are practically no different from traces of modern man. Yes, it would be strange if some differences were found, since Cro-Magnon traveled along the coast.

The most interesting thing is that all these people walked in different directions, and not in one. Approximately the same variety has already been found in one of the ancient sites, however, in Kenya, and not Canada. Probably the people who owned the tracks were busy with some kind of work. Maybe they were looking for food, maybe they were doing something else. Archaeologists believe that it is possible that these traces belong to a group of people who just sailed to the coast and descended to the shore.

Traces of ancient people turned out to be a pleasant surprise for archaeologists who arrived on the island as early as 2014 to obtain possible evidence of our ancestors living here in the form of cracked mollusk shells or stone tools. Maclaren and his colleagues, by the way, were able to find stone tools near the beach, in the same sedimentary layer, where prints were found. True, none of the tools looked like Clovis artifacts, which are usually associated with the early population of North America. Clovis culture traces have never been found so far north on the Canadian coast.

We can say that scientists were just lucky, because traces were found on a site of only 8 square meters. Of course, there must be other prints, but it's hard to tell exactly where. Archaeologists have decided to leave the rest intact, so that other teams of scientists also have something to explore, and with more advanced tools than those that modern archaeologists have.

PLOS ONE , 2017. DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0193522


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