Oldest North American footprints found in Canada

Oldest North American footprints found in Canada

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A study published last week has determined that human footprints found on an island off the west coast of Canada date back to 13,000 years, making them the oldest discovered in North America.

The footprints are probably from two adults and a child walking barefoot on clay on what is now a beach northeast of Vancouver Island, according to the authors of the study published in PLOS ONE.

During excavations from 2014 to 2016, a total of 29 footprints were found, explained Duncan McLaren, lead author of the study and professor of anthropology at the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria.

The study suggests that humans were on the Pacific coast of British Columbia about 13,000 years, and that the area had no ice long before the end of the last Ice Age on the continent, about 11,700 years ago.

The discovery further reinforces the hypothesis of what the first humans to arrive in North America emigrated from Asia through an ice-free land corridor along the coast to finally reach what is now British Columbia.

However, supporting the hypothesis has not been easy for researchers since this area of ​​Canada is very rugged, covered by dense forest and only accessible by boat.

Therefore, the researchers concentrated their excavation in a tidal zone on Calvert Island, where the water level was two to three meters lower at the end of the survey. Ice Age.

The study authors argue that more excavations would uncover more footprints, shedding more light on the history of the first human settlements along the western coast of North America.

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