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Footsteps in time that add 30,000 years to history of America
Times Online UK ^ | 7/4/05 | Lewis Smith

Posted on 07/04/2005 9:59:36 PM PDT by freedom44

THE discovery of human footprints, preserved by volcanic ash, have put back the likely date that the American continent was colonised by Man by almost 30,000 years, British scientists say.

The prints, found by the scientists at the edge of a lake in Mexico, are thought to be about 40,000 years old. Their discovery upsets the widely accepted theory that Man first reached America across a land bridge, now covered by the Bering Sea, 11,500 years ago. Casts of the footprints reveal that a community of Homo sapiens lived in the Valsequillo Basin, near Puebla in central Mexico. Their feet ranged in size from those of small children, aged about 5 or 6, to adults who would have fitted size eight shoes.

The prints were found at the bottom of an abandoned quarry and were preserved in volcanic rock. From the size of the prints, researchers from Liverpool John Moores University and Bournemouth University estimated that the adults ranged in height from 3ft 9ins to 6ft. Almost 270 prints were found at the site, two thirds of them human and the rest from animals including mammoths, an extinct species of camel, prehistoric cow and deer. The Liverpool and Bournemouth team discovered the footprints in September 2003 but have only recently had confirmation of their age from scientists at Oxford University. Dating techniques included radiocarbon dating and optical stimulated luminescence.

Until now it was widely believed that Clovis Man was the first human to set foot on the continent at the end of the last Ice Age. Previous academic research has suggested, however, that human occupation of the American continents may have begun several thousand years earlier.

The footprints are the first evidence of earlier colonisations and would suggest that the first settlers reached the West Coast from Japan or other Pacific Ocean communities.

Professor Matthew Bennett, of Bournemouth University, said yesterday: “Our evidence of humans in America 40,000 years ago is irrefutable.”

He accepted that there would be resistance to the theory that the original migration was not over the Bering Sea: “It is quite controversial. They are not very happy in North America. They are very wedded to the idea of colonisation 11,500 years ago.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: anthropology; archaeology; catastrophism; erectus; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; multiregionalism
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1 posted on 07/04/2005 9:59:36 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG


2 posted on 07/04/2005 9:59:53 PM PDT by freedom44
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To: blam

ping


3 posted on 07/04/2005 10:02:38 PM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: IGNORANCE ON PARADE)
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To: freedom44

Oops.


4 posted on 07/04/2005 10:09:08 PM PDT by WorkingClassFilth (NEW and IMPROVED: Now with 100% more Tyrannical Tendencies and Dictator Envy!)
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To: freedom44
Thank you very much for posting this. We get so wrapped up in the here and now that we can forget geological time, in which yesterday (a mere 40,000 years ago) humans were in the Americas. Fascinating.

Congressman Billybob

Latest column: "Replace Justice O'Connor -- But Which One?"

5 posted on 07/04/2005 10:11:17 PM PDT by Congressman Billybob (Will President Bush appoint a Justice who obeys the Constitution? I give 65-35 odds on yes.)
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To: freedom44
“They are not very happy in North America. They are very wedded to the idea of colonisation 11,500 years ago.”

That does indeed appear to be the case. Scientists should welcome new data, but unfortunately many have emotional/financial attachments to old ideas.

6 posted on 07/04/2005 10:17:45 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: PatrickHenry

pre-clovis ping!


7 posted on 07/04/2005 10:19:11 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: freedom44

Six feet, eh? Kinda argues against the fact that evolution is making us grow taller.


8 posted on 07/04/2005 10:20:10 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

Well, except that we range to upwards of seven feet nowadays..


9 posted on 07/04/2005 10:21:40 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: AntiGuv

Average height is still around 6 feet. It is somewhat more than it was a hundred years ago, but that can easily be put down to a changing diet. The 7 foot is still highly unusual. In fact, anything above about 6'3'' is unusual.


10 posted on 07/04/2005 10:29:28 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: Frumious Bandersnatch

The average height of these people, in case you didn't read properly, appears to be around 5 feet, which is where it should be.


11 posted on 07/04/2005 10:34:53 PM PDT by AntiGuv ()
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To: freedom44
“Our evidence of humans in America 40,000 years ago is irrefutable.”

That's gonna leave a mark I'm afraid. Liable to bunch up some underwear too.

12 posted on 07/04/2005 10:53:53 PM PDT by ForGod'sSake (ABCNNBCBS: An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly.)
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To: freedom44
Excellent..

Any idea, is this the oldest evidence now?
I seem to recall that sites on the eastern seaboard are this age or older, but there hasn't been definite confirmed carbon dating..

If early man reached america, say, 50K years ago across the atlantic, then he could very well have spread down the coast to Mexico/Central America, etc..

Not ruling out the Japan-Taiwan-Polynesian hypothesis in the article, just think either, or both is possible..

13 posted on 07/04/2005 11:00:58 PM PDT by Drammach (Freedom; not just a job, it's an adventure..)
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To: freedom44

Human left footprint showing toe impressions and slight heel impression.

Footprints preserved in volcanic ash.

The footprints were made shortly after the deposition of the Xalnene ash and were preserved as trace fossils by the relatively fast deposition of fine-grained lake-sediment as the lake later transgressed across the site.

Rock shelter overlooking Valsequillo basin. Several early Holocene human skeletons were buried in the rock shelter.

Palaeoenvironment of the Valsaquillo Basin, Mexico - University of Nottingham

The Oldest American? Footprints from the Past - Liverpool John Moores University - Bournemouth University

14 posted on 07/04/2005 11:09:12 PM PDT by concentric circles
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To: freedom44

This will change the entire assumed history of the casino industry.


15 posted on 07/04/2005 11:11:57 PM PDT by Hank Rearden (Never allow anyone who could only get a government job attempt to tell you how to run your life.)
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To: freedom44

So who were they, and what happened to them? If they really are 40K years old then genetic and other data indicates that they are not the ancestors of today's American Indians. Instead, they must have been from an ealier group that went extinct.


16 posted on 07/04/2005 11:16:23 PM PDT by Ahban
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To: AntiGuv
Oh I read it properly. And if you want to do an oranges to apples comparison, then you are correct. However, to average in the estimated heights of these people and then compare that with the average height of the modern adult male is meaningless.

As a matter of fact, if you really want to get accurate, average the height of all adult males in the world today. I think that, when the non-caucasoid peoples are also thrown into the mix, you will find that the average height is under 6 feet.

Oh, and BTW, the fathom, which is a measurement devised during the middle ages, is defined as being the average height of a man. Just so happens that the fathom is 6 feet...
17 posted on 07/04/2005 11:56:09 PM PDT by Frumious Bandersnatch
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To: freedom44

Oddly enough, the footprints were headed north.


18 posted on 07/05/2005 1:06:57 AM PDT by commonasdirt (Reading DU so you won't hafta)
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To: Drammach
"Any idea, is this the oldest evidence now?"

There is some disputed (of course) evidence in a cave in South America at 50-55,000 years old. It may not be so disputed after this find. Dilahey(sp) is arguring for a 30,000 date at or around the Monte Verde site.

19 posted on 07/05/2005 7:31:33 AM PDT by blam
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similar, but younger threads:

Mexico offers up ancient footprints (40,000 year old footprints)
Guardian (U.K.) | Tuesday July 5, 2005 | Maev Kennedy
Posted on 07/04/2005 11:15:36 PM PDT by nickcarraway
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1436677/posts

40,000-year-old footprint of first Americans
The Telegraph (U.K.) | 5-07-2005 | Roger Highfield
Posted on 07/05/2005 3:38:09 AM PDT by Renfielhttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/1436721/posts


20 posted on 07/05/2005 8:22:51 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (last updated by FR profile on Tuesday, May 10, 2005.)
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