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Scientists discover footprints that reveals truth about how long humans have existed

Scientists discover footprints that reveals truth about how long humans have existed

A new study published in the journal Science has revealed how long humans have existed.

I think it is something we all think about every so often. How long have us humans existed and walked this wonderful earth?

Obviously, us as individuals can only account for how long we have been on this planet, but thanks to science, we are able to look way back.

Back in 2021, a joint effort by US and UK archaeologists discovered that human prints found at White Sands National Park in southern New Mexico to be in the region of 21,000 to 23,000 years old.

Quite a long time ago, eh? This was in fact groundbreaking research as it suggested some of the earliest evidence of human activity in the Americas, something that was about 10,0000 years that previously believed.

Scientists and many outsiders remained skpetctial surrounding the findings though, which is certainly understandable as it brought into question what was previously believed.

Scientists remained skeptical over the findings.
Bournemouth University

As a result, a follow-up study was conducted, which has confirmed whether or not the original findings are as accurate as the original archaeologists would have hoped.

The study, which was published in the journal Science on Thursday (5 October), confirmed the findings in New Mexico based on radiocarbon dating - something that can examine decay that's up to 60,000 years old.

The original results were certainly controversial, but with now two test to back up the claims now in the public eye, surely all that speculation can be put to bed.

Dr Jeff Pigati, lead researcher of the original 2021 study, said: "Every dating technique has strengths and weaknesses, but when three different techniques all converge on the same age range, then the resulting ages are exceptionally robust."

Meanwhile, co-author of the study, Dr Kathleen Springer of the US Geological Survey added: "Our original results were controversial, and we knew all along that we needed to independently evaluate the seed ages to develop community confidence in them. This paper is that corroborative exercise."

The new study has backed up the original.
US Geological Survey

The footprints that were found were rather flat, leading to scientists believing the humans may have walked barefoot. Obviously, shoes weren't a thing back then.

Researchers didn't just discover a date from their findings, but they were offered a glimpse into what life was like during the Upper Paleolithic Era.

The iconic era in Europe took place during the final stages of the last ice age, which started about 40,000 years ago.

Another study done by Dr Matthew Bennett, a professor of environmental and geographical sciences at Bournemouth University in the UK, suggested that human occupation in North America started around 16,000 years ago.

Featured Image Credit: Bournemouth University / Getty stock

Topics: Science