Thursday, November 11, 2010

Laetoli Footprints To Be Visible Again is reporting that the Laetoli footprint tracks, produced by two side-by-side hominids some 3.6 million years ago, will be visible again and open for tourists. The author writes:
The state's announcement to open the site may see the beginning of the end for stirring debate over how to best protect the 3.6-millionyear- old tracks. In recent years, experts have been expressing fear for oldest human footprints fossilized tracks preservation, saying weathering has begun to undermine those protections, raising concerns that the prints preserved in a volcanic ash bed could be harmed by erosion, livestock or humans. It has prompted Tanzanian anthropologist Charles Musiba to call for the creation of a new museum to reveal and display the historic prints. But foreign anthropologists question this idea ... as they did when the tracks were covered ... because Laetoli is several hours' drive into Ngorongoro Conservation Area, making guarding and maintaining any facility extremely difficult.

A file photo of the tracks is above. It would be a shame if they cannot be saved. Even though we have casts of them, the original is priceless.

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