Finding The Footprint
The supposed footprint was first identified back in 2011 when an Austral University student discovered it at an Osorno dig site. The impression in the peat layer of the Chilean city bore resemblance to a footprint, leading Dr. Moreno to try and reveal its origins. That’s what she’s spent the last few years doing, and it seems she may have finally uncovered just how old it is.
A Significant Discovery
According to her reports, the footprint was made around 15,600 years ago. That would make this impression the oldest on record in the Americas. It shows that humans were inhabiting South America longer ago than originally believed. Although prints have been found in Mexico dating as far back as 40,000 years, these impressions have caused a lot of controversy and debate among scientists. It seems people aren’t willing to believe humans were around as far back as that.
Backing Up Her Findings
So, how was Moreno able to identify the footprint’s origins. For starters, the dig site at Osorno contained horse and mastodon remains, as well as the presence of stones believed to be used for tools. This would suggest that humans were around and hunting animals back in the day. What’s more, experiments performed on the footprint suggested the pressure applied was consistent with that of an adult man weighing roughly 70 kgs.
Dating The Print
It’s hard to provide an accurate date for the footprint, especially as it’s just an impression on the ground. However, the sediment that the print was cast in contains evidence of the time period. Things like wood, seeds, and skull pieces all date back to a similar time, meaning it’s highly likely this was when the impression was made. Although it’s not definitive proof, it’s probably as good as we’re ever going to get.
It’s incredible how many discoveries are still being made about our history. Every step we make into the future, we make another one into the past.