A Brief History
On February 7, 2014, scientists in England verified that footprints found in an uncovered sediment layer in Happisburgh, Norfolk were of human, or “hominid” origin and dated back about 900,000 years. The footprints, called “The Happisburgh footprints” thus became the oldest known human footprints ever found outside of Africa.
The prints were found under an ancient forest bed the previous year and were meticulously photographed and documented before a rising tide covered and destroyed the impressions. Prior to this epic discovery, the previously known oldest hominid footprints found outside of Africa were found in Italy, dating to 350,000 years ago.
The historic footprints were of five individuals, both adult and juvenile, between three feet and 5’7” tall of the Homo antecessor species, an ancestor of both Modern Humans and Neanderthals.
The history and evolution of humans and their relatives is a constantly changing picture based on new discoveries and theories all the time.
Question for students (and subscribers): Have you ever discovered a fossil? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Kingdon, Jonathan. Lowly Origin: Where, When, and Why Our Ancestors First Stood Up. Princeton University Press, 2003.
Roberts, Alice. Evolution: The Human Story. DK, 2018.
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