According to a new study which the journal PLOS ONE recently published, some 13,000-years old human footprints found on an island off the coast of Canada might be the oldest ever discovered in North America. The authors of the paper are saying that the footprints most likely belong to two adults and a child. They were walking barefoot on clay. Today in that area is the Calvert Island beach, northeast of Vancouver Island. During excavation work that lasted between 2014 and 2016, the team discovered 29 different footprints, says lead author Duncan McLaren.
So, according to the new study, it seems that humans were roaming the Pacific coast of British Columbia about 13,000 years ago. And that about 11,700 years ago, before the end of the last ice age, ice did not cover the land. What’s even more interesting is that this new discovery strengthens another hypothesis. The first humans who arrived in North America came from Asia. They walked on a land corridor that was not covered in ice along the coast and finally arrived in the area that is now British Columbia.
Ancient human footprints strengthen a long-debated hypothesis
It’s worth noting that researchers did not have an easy job discovering these footprints. They wanted to prove that the hypothesis is indeed true. That particular area of Canada is not in the best state. It’s completely covered by dense and thick forests and moreover, only accessible by boat. This is why the team of experts focused on a specific area on Calvert Island for excavations.
At the end of the ice age, in that area, the water was about two meters lower than today. Now, the experts are saying that more excavations could lead to the discovery of even more footprints. Future discoveries could shed some more light on this mysterious part of human history.
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