Science

The Biggest Collection of Ancient Human footprints ever found in Africa

Ol Doinyo Legani, a volcano in East Africa, erupted millions of years ago and produced a mudflow that preserved what now seems to be the biggest collection of ancient human footprints. The hardened sediment has preserved more than 400 footprints. This new information found is given a rather new and rarer peek of social life in previous ancient East African hunter-gatherer behavior.  Humans walked across a layer of volcanic mud that dates around 19,100 and 5,760. The dating of the layer just above the footprints makes them around 12,000 to 10,000 years old. The research team analyzed the size of the footprints, the distance between them, and at which way each was pointing. This way researchers were able to identify what different groups were traveling and the number of people traveling. One collection of footprints was made by a group of 17 people. Researchers compared the size of these footprints to the standard human footprint now. Based on this information they determined that this group was made up of 14 women, 2 men, and one young boy. Most likely this group of women was searching for food to gather and the males were there just as accompaniment. This was normal for the location of the volcano and the location in Africa, Tanzania. In Tanzania, Hadza people (natives) usually formed large groups of females that would dedicate themselves to food-gathering. These footprints served as a way for researchers to better understand and study ancient human behavior.

Camila Pedroza

My name is Camila Pedroza. I am a senior who loves her senior class. I am from Peru. My favorite food is pesto. A word that would describe me would be lowkey.

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