Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The oldest footprints in Europe.

Italian scientists have dated the marks, which appear to include hand prints, at more than 350,000 years ago, making them part of the genus Homo.

Footsteps of pre-human hominids have been found in Africa, dating back millions of years, but the Italian ones are the oldest traces of human steps - the most exciting discovery in years.

It doesn't mean they belonged to Homo sapiens, modern man, but probably European Homo erectus (also called Homo heidelbergensis), who was around well before the Neanderthals.

Whereas twenty years ago there was scant evidence for Homo erectus in Europe, now it is popping up all over the place.

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