A group of scientists has discovered the oldest human footprint from the Americas. The footprint was found in Chile, and it is 15,600 years old. The discovery was made nine years ago, back in 2010. The print was discovered at the Pilauco excavation which is located in the Osorno city.
The oldest human footprint in the Americas was just found in Chile
Researchers investigated it in order to make sure that it isn’t an animal print and they are now confident that it belongs to an adult man. It took years to determine the source and age of the footprint. Researchers used radiocarbon dating techniques on the material where the print was discovered.
“There are other human footprints in the Americas, but none has been dated as far back,” explained study author and geologist Mario Pino. The research was published in the journal PLOS One.
According to researchers, the print belonged to a man who weighed around 70 kilometers. He was a close relative of us, as he was a Hominipes modernus. The footprint is significant as it also shows that humans populated South America during the late Pleistocene.
The history behind the oldest human footprint in the Americas
Chile is an essential place for archaeologists, and numerous other fossils were discovered there. Close to Osorno, another human footprint was located, and scientists believe that it is “just” 1000 years more recent than the print that was discovered recently. Animals bones were also found in that site, including fossils that belonged to ancient elephants.
“Little by little in South America, we’re starting to find sites with evidence of human presence, but this is this oldest in the Americas,” said Karen Moreno, study author and a paleontologist with the Universidad Austral. This is the first time scientists have proof that people lived more than 12000 years ago in the Americas.