DISCOVERY OF OLDEST HUMAN FOOTPRINTS IN NORTH AMERICA | UPSC EXAM

INTRODUCTION

  • A recent scientific study done by archaeologists in New Mexico has uncovered the oldest human footprints in North America. The footprints were believed to be between 21,000 and 23,000 years old by researchers at the White Sands national park in New Mexico. The discovery aids in the knowledge of when and where early people dispersed from Africa and Asia and arrived in the Americas.
  • Because of the stone spears found in North America, experts previously assumed that the first people in the Americas emerged approximately 11,000 to 13,000 years ago. This occurrence was linked to the Clovis civilization, according to scientists.

 

DISCOVERY OF OLDEST HUMAN FOOTPRINTS IN NORTH AMERICA –

  • In 2009, a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park yielded the first footprints. In the national park, the footprints were buried in layers of dirt. The seeds lodged in the footprints were recently analysed by scientists from the US Geological Survey to establish how ancient the impressions are. The footprints were estimated to be between 22,800 and 21,130 years old.
  • Early people may have crossed a now-submerged land bridge connecting Asia and Alaska, according to scientists. They discovered fossil bones, stone tools, and genetic analyses, among other things. Scientists found that the footprints belonged to primarily youngsters and teens based on their size.

 

IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY –

  • Scientists believe that studying the earliest human footprints will help them establish a more accurate chronology for when the first people arrived in North America. Fossil footprints are a more direct and irrefutable kind of evidence than “cultural objects,” “modified bones,” or other traditional fossils.
  • Previously, scientists uncovered the tracks of a dire wolf, saber-toothed cat, Columbian mammoth, and other ice period creatures during excavations in White Sands national park.

 

 

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