Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Oldest Footprints Outside of Africa

Fossil footprints have been found in England that are thought to be 800,000 years old.  As Science Daily puts it:
The importance of the Happisburgh footprints is highlighted by the rarity of footprints surviving elsewhere. Only those at Laetoli in Tanzania at about 3.5 million years and at Ileret and Koobi Fora in Kenya at about 1.5 million years are older.

A lecturer in physical geography, and co-director of the Happisburgh project (, Dr Lewis added that the chance of encountering footprints such as this was extremely rare; they survived environmental change and the passage of time.

Timing was also crucial as "their location was revealed just at a moment when researchers were there to see it" during a geophysical survey. "Just two weeks later the tide would have eroded the footprints away."

"At first we weren't sure what we were seeing," explains Dr Nick Ashton of the British Museum "but as we removed any remaining beach sand and sponged off the seawater, it was clear that the hollows resembled prints, and that we needed to record the surface as quickly as possible."
This illustrates the fragility of the fossil record and how incredibly fortunate we are to have anything, let alone what we do have.There isn't a whole heck of a lot in England to begin with.  The boxgrove tibia is around 500 Kya and the Swanscombe skull is around 300 Kya.   We know that early Homo was in southern Europe around 1.2-1.3 Mya and now, in northern Europe by at least 800 Kya. 


  1. My post here at 11.26 pm GMT on 10.2.14 may be of interest (I was reacting to a YEC blogging about this news story):

  2. Is this footprint in the layers that are supposed to have been laid down by the Flood? I've heard the excuse for animal prints laid down in the Flood, (progressing and retreating Flood waters chased animals around - stupid) but having human prints in those layers is a whole different level of problem.

  3. Actually, I went to track down what AiG says.

    Looks like the footprints found are in the post-Flood mega-disasters. Hundreds of feet of sediment were laid down around the world in just a century or so, but as the Flood waters were draining away, not during the main Flood.

    These footprints are relatively early on in that process, though. I can't imagine that Noah's kids/grandkids would/could have traveled across all of Europe during such massive upheaval, crossed the channel, and left the footprints. Especially since they are supposed to have stayed in the area to build the Tower of Babel.

    These footprints aren't even the toughest for them to explain since prints have been found even lower down and much further away.

  4. And yet, somehow, the footprints are found in sediment older than those in which the manifestly archaic Swanscombe skull is found. Riddle me that one, Batman!

  5. I guess I don't know enough to see the riddle. Footprints dated around 800kya and skull pieces around 300kya. What's the problem?

  6. That's my point. They can't belong to modern humans. They have to belong to archaic Homo sapiens. No flood model explains them.