Skip to comments.Tanzania: Prehistoric Footprints Stir Fresh Controversy
Posted on 07/27/2008 10:38:06 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
Archaeological experts are divided on a plan to exhume the hominid footprints at Laetoli for public display, some arguing that this could lead to erosion of the rare imprints.
The 3.6 million- year old footprints, discovered in 1978, have since the 1990s been reburied for protection while a replica of the original cast is on display at the site.
Government authorities recently intended to exhume the oldest known footprints of human ancestors for public view in order to attract more tourists and researchers...
With the assistance of scientists from Getty Conservation Institute of Los Angeles in the US, the track-way was reburied in 1995 to save it from erosion. But this has been criticised by some experts.
The original track was covered by fine silicone rubber which made it impermeable to water and other materials.
A copy of the original cast is on display at the site and the Olduvai Gorge museum.
Critics say reburying the world's oldest hominid footprints was not the best option to preserving them because they could neither be seen by visitors nor other interested parties.
Getty Institute scientists and officials of the department of Antiquities in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism say the 20-metre long track way was buried because it had started to deteriorate with continued exposure after its discovery in 1978.
(Excerpt) Read more at allafrica.com ...
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What's the big ****ing deal?
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