Scientists have discovered ancient human footprints in Utah, with traces of adults and children walking barefoot along shallow riverbeds more than 12,000 years ago.
Tommy Urban, a research scientist at Cornell University, said making the discovery at the Utah Test and Training Range, a million-acre site where the U.S. military tests experimental aircraft and other military hardware, was “pure. Chance was. Following recent research on ancient human and other mammalian footprints by Dr. Urban and his colleagues At White Sands National Park, New MexicoUtah, Track expands scientific understanding of ancient North America by revealing not only where humans lived, but also their evidence action.
Daron Duke, an archaeologist with the Nevada-based Far Western Anthropology Study Group, told Dr. Urban, ancient campfire at Utah Test Range. Dr. Duke and his team published a paper on the contents of a campsite last year.
While driving to the excavation site, the two had a lively conversation about railroad tracks. When Dr. Duke asked what the fossil footprints looked like, Dr. Urban pointed to the window and said, “Well, something like that!” They stopped the truck and found the first of 88 footprints.
“I didn’t know they were human when I spotted them from a moving car,” Dr. Urban said. “But I knew they were footprints, because they were evenly spaced and alternating — a track pattern.”
88 footprints are found on several short tracks, some of which indicate that people may have simply congregated in one area. “It doesn’t look like you happened to find someone walking from point A to point B,” Dr. Duke said. They believe these footprints belonged to people who lived nearby. “Maybe he’s collecting things, maybe he’s just having fun in the shallows,” he added.
Dr. Duke also found a type of stone spear tip that might have been used to hunt larger animals at a nearby location, but said there was no evidence of animals yet.
Dr. Urban compared Utah’s footprints to White Sands’ “ghost tracks.” This term is used for tracks that appear only under certain conditions and then quickly disappear. A 23,000-year-old fossil trail in the New He Mexico state was discovered using ground-penetrating radar technology and contained a treasure trove of revelations. Traces of ancient humans and megafauna crossing and interacting. They showed evidence that ancient humans were walking on the tracks of giant proboscises, and vice versa.that one human ran in the mud Holding a child, at some point dropping the child, picking the child up and speeding off to an unknown destination.at least one of them giant ground sloth An ancient human followed, standing on its hind legs and spinning around it with humans. The children were playing in puddles.
The discovery of an additional set of footprints in Utah suggests that there are other locations across the United States waiting to learn more about ancient human behavior.
“There are many similar settings in the western United States that may have early footprint sites,” Dr. Urban said of Shiobara. He added:
Still, finding human footprints was amazing. Humans have not lived in this area for thousands of years. It’s a desert, it’s a backwater, it’s a military installation.
“When we considered these options, we were thrilled when we concluded that the footprints were made in the late Pleistocene was the most logical explanation,” said Dr. Urban.
Utah’s footprint is more than what appears on the surface.
“They are subtle because they are level with the ground and are generally covered with the same sediment veneer,” Dr. Urban said. “If you don’t already know what to look for, you won’t necessarily notice them.”
As footprints are created, the pressure of the tracks will affect underground, providing information about the weight and size and speed of movement of the people or animals creating those tracks. By probing them with ground penetrating radar, the team was able to find additional footprints and learn more about the truck without destroying them.
Dr. Urban and his teammates taught Dr. Duke how to carefully excavate some footprints. It was the first time Dr. Duke had worked with footprints, and he admitted that he was apprehensive about excavating them. But he said, “It’s just amazing when you see children’s toes forming in what you’re digging.
Hill Air Force Base staff, who manage the shooting range, have worked to inform and inform the Native American community of the discovery.
Archaeologist Anya Kitterman, who oversees Dr. Duke and his colleagues, said: Works on behalf of the Air Force on test ranges. “There’s something very personal about the footprints knowing someone walked there years ago and being able to walk along these tracks.”
Patty Timbimboo-Madsen is a Shoshone member and cultural and natural resource custodian. shoshone northwest bandshe said, could not pass up the opportunity to visit the track.
“It gives us proof that our people have been here,” she said. “And I think our people have always been here.”
Kitterman said the Air Force is currently considering how to manage the discovery site. “We are still learning about this landscape and what these tracks mean,” she said. “How do you save it?”
And if the Utah proving ground resembles the one found at White Sands, it may be worth the trouble to preserve the site.