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Oldest Footprint August 27, 2007

Posted by Mrs Weird Scientist in Environment, Evolution, Human Body, Think About It.

Sand Footprints

When you’re at the beach, you’ve probably left footprints in the sand. They are temporary little dents that let you leave your mark, even if only for a short while. But imagine if your footprint was preserved and then found millions of years later? That’s what happened recently, when archaeologists in Egypt found what they believe may be the world’s oldest footprint.

It’s All About Mud

In this case, it really is! The footprint was imprinted in mud, which then turned to stone. The outline was preserved in the stone and was found in the Siwa oasis in the western desert. It is thought that the footprint may be 2 million years old! Other experts are projecting that it may even beat that figure and surpass the 3 million year old skeleton found in Ethiopia, an extinct Australopithecus afarensis hominid that was discovered in 1974.

Up until now, the earliest known human activity that has been found in Egypt only dated to 200,000 years ago. So, this new discovery is a really exciting one! In fact, the oldest footprints or handprints related to humans were found in volcanic rocks at Roccamofina in Italy and these were dated to approximately 350,000 years ago. The discovery still has to be officially dated and verified by independent scientists, but so far, it’s looking like a very exciting find for Egypt!

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1. Frank - December 23, 2007

How long would it take for a foot print to turn to stone?

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