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Oldest human footprints discovered in Italy
News in Science ^ | 3-13-2003 | Reuters

Posted on 03/13/2003 1:46:22 PM PST by vannrox

Hominid footprints in Italy

The newly-discovered footprints descending an inclined slope of an extinct volcano (Pic: University of Padua)
 

Markings in hardened volcanic ash, dubbed "devils' trails" by local Italian villagers, have been confirmed as the oldest-known footprints ever made by humans.

The fossilised hand and footprints belong to three early humans who were probably climbing down the side of the Roccamonfina volcano in southern Italy about 385,000 to 325,000 years ago, report a team of Italian palaeontologists in today's issue of the journal, Nature.

"We believe that these tracks are the oldest human footprints found so far," said Professor Paolo Mietto of the University of Padua in Italy, who lead the research. "They are made by hominids who had a fully bipedal, free-standing gait, using their hands only to steady themselves on the difficult descent."

"In some of the prints, the impressions made by the heel and ball of the foot are clear, and there are even small depressions that can be interpreted as toe impression," he said.

They were made by primitive humans that walked upright with a free-standing gait and used their hands to steady themselves. Three tracks with prints show curve or zizgzag patterns. The prints, embedded in fossilised volcanic ash, are about 20 cm (eight inches) long and 10 cm wide and belonged to primitive humans who were about 1.5 metres tall.

He added that older footprints of hominids, or human-like ancestors, that were made by more distant ancestors, date back 3.5 million years and were found in petrified volcanic ash at Laetoli in northern Tanzania.

Reuters, Agençe France-Presse

More Info?


Fossil dates humans back 1.5 million years, News in Science 7 Dec 2000


New evidence on first footprints out of Africa, News in Science 15 May 2000



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: africa; ancient; ash; discovered; europe; exciting; feet; foot; footprint; found; godsgravesglyphs; history; italy; man; new; past; science; strange; unusual
Cool.

1 posted on 03/13/2003 1:46:22 PM PST by vannrox
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To: vannrox
Curiously, they match Vince Foster's shoe size exactly.
2 posted on 03/13/2003 1:47:02 PM PST by ElkGroveDan (Fighting for Freedom and Having Fun)
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To: vannrox
OK ... Bipedal creatures walked along a volcanic ash shelf? floor?, and left prints that lay undisturbed by wind/rain etc. until the ash could fossilize. The ash was then covered over and preserved for this discovery.

I believe this ... no ... really ... I do.

3 posted on 03/13/2003 1:52:19 PM PST by knarf (RA 11448419)
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To: ElkGroveDan
ROFL!
4 posted on 03/13/2003 2:01:49 PM PST by BibChr (Remember what D. M. S. Watson said)
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To: vannrox
I didn't realize that Helen Thomas had been in Italy.
5 posted on 03/13/2003 2:04:22 PM PST by Maceman
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To: knarf
Stranger things have happened.
6 posted on 03/13/2003 2:07:08 PM PST by Zeroisanumber
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To: knarf
I believe this ... no ... really ... I do.

And your explanation would be...? Or maybe you're suggesting these simply don't exist?

(BTW, I would not assume that this was hot ash (although it might have been). The ash is amazingly light, and easily compacted, so would take an impression well. Mt. Saint Helens Ash is very, very light and I assume this was likely the same kind of thing. I bet it would only take a light rain to turn it into something like concrete.)

7 posted on 03/13/2003 2:09:13 PM PST by clamboat
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To: vannrox
In a related story, the oldest known hoofprints found just outside the DNC in Washington, D.C.

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8 posted on 03/13/2003 2:12:02 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Don't just sit there, use the links on the Graphic Teaser.)
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To: vannrox
From the article in Neture,

Given that these tracks were made before the molten ash solidified, the trio that made them may have seen the volcano erupting, speculates Mietto, who works at Padua University in Italy.

Huh!?! "made before the molten ash solidified"? So these hominids were walking on molten ash? I don't THINK so. Perhaps it was ash, but not molten. I hope that's just a crappy transalation.

9 posted on 03/13/2003 2:13:29 PM PST by clamboat
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To: vannrox
Three sets coming down the volcano, none going up. Wonder why?
10 posted on 03/13/2003 2:17:09 PM PST by templar
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To: vannrox
Apparently, the footprints are those of a retreating Frenchman.
11 posted on 03/13/2003 2:22:18 PM PST by headsonpikes
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To: DoughtyOne
"oldest known hoofprints"

Good one.
12 posted on 03/13/2003 2:24:15 PM PST by headsonpikes
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To: headsonpikes
...had to be a relative of x42.
13 posted on 03/13/2003 2:30:26 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Don't just sit there, use the links on the Graphic Teaser.)
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To: DoughtyOne
Actually, they are from a french caveman, if they search real hard they'll probably find a white rabbit skin attached to stick.
14 posted on 03/13/2003 2:32:35 PM PST by Stopislamnow
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To: clamboat
"(BTW, I would not assume that this was hot ash (although it might have been). The ash is amazingly light, and easily compacted, so would take an impression well. Mt. Saint Helens Ash is very, very light and I assume this was likely the same kind of thing. I bet it would only take a light rain to turn it into something like concrete.)"

I would 'assume' you're an evolutionist by the 'likely' manner in which you could 'hope' rained-on ash would become concrete before any whiff of a breeze disrupted the footprints.

Non-existant? No ... they exist alright, but 300 thousand plus years ago?

Naaaahhhh ... fantasyland.

15 posted on 03/13/2003 3:20:09 PM PST by knarf (RA 11448419)
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To: headsonpikes

What can I say...

16 posted on 03/13/2003 4:12:15 PM PST by DoughtyOne (Don't just sit there, use the links on the Graphic Teaser.)
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To: farmfriend
Please put in the GGG files, thanks.
17 posted on 12/10/2003 5:10:58 PM PST by blam
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To: ElkGroveDan
They were made by primitive humans that walked upright with a free-standing gait and used their hands to steady themselves.

That describes half of the guys I knew in my teens.

18 posted on 12/10/2003 5:28:18 PM PST by decimon
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To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; abner; Alas Babylon!; Andyman; annyokie; bd476; BiffWondercat; ...
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

19 posted on 12/10/2003 7:54:45 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: farmfriend; 4ConservativeJustices
more footprints =>
20 posted on 12/11/2003 4:27:52 AM PST by Ff--150 (that we through His poverty might be rich)
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To: farmfriend
BTTT
21 posted on 12/11/2003 5:28:41 AM PST by Constitution Day (Thomas: "Apparently, the marketplace of ideas is to be fully open only to defamers, nude dancers...")
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To: Ff--150
Three tracks with prints show curve or zizgzag patterns.

Nikes or Keds?

22 posted on 12/11/2003 5:36:58 AM PST by 4CJ ('Scots vie 4 tavern juices' - anagram by paulklenk, 22 Nov 2003)
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To: vannrox
Unmistakeable!! Bruno Mali loafers
23 posted on 12/11/2003 5:42:35 AM PST by Doc Savage
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To: 4ConservativeJustices
"Nikes or Keds?"

In a book I've read there are sandleprints, like the hippies wore lol

24 posted on 12/11/2003 5:50:36 AM PST by Ff--150 (that we through His poverty might be rich)
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To: Prof Engineer
ping
25 posted on 12/11/2003 7:31:40 AM PST by msdrby (US Veterans: All give some, but some give all.)
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To: PatrickHenry
ping
26 posted on 12/11/2003 7:34:57 AM PST by Dementon (I hear the voices in my head, I swear to God it sounds like they're snoring...)
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To: knarf
BTTT
27 posted on 02/06/2004 5:16:39 PM PST by carpio
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To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
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28 posted on 07/23/2008 11:26:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_________________________Profile updated Friday, May 30, 2008)
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