About 15,600 years in the past, a barefoot man traversed the mud in historic Chile. He left a single proper footprint behind within the moist sediment.
Scientists found that print at Pilauco, a website within the metropolis of Osorno, Chile, in 2011. At first, researchers weren’t certain if the print belonged to a human or hominin ancestor, somewhat than, say, a floor sloth gamboling by means of the mud.
However now, researchers have decided that the footprint was certainly human, in line with a study printed within the journal PLoS One.
“It is a form of the footprint that might be made by any Homo species,” Karen Moreno, co-author of the examine, advised Business Insider. “However the one Homo species round there at 15,000 years in the past is Homo sapiens.”
That discovery may assist rewrite our timeline of human historical past: “To my data, it’s the oldest footprint discovered within the Americas,” Moreno mentioned.
Throughout excavations of the Pilauco website from 2007 to 2016, researchers additionally found mastodon stays, fossilized bugs and mollusks, and human-made stone instruments.
Utilizing radiocarbon relationship, Moreno and her staff decided that plant materials present in the identical sediment layer because the footprint was about 15,600 years outdated.
Then, to determine which sort of creature the print belong to, the scientists took x-ray pictures, measurements, and made a plaster reconstruction. Their findings recommended the print had an attribute form – with an arch, a rounded heel, and an elongated massive toe – that could not have been made by any animal aside from a Homo species.