A view of the area in British Columbia, Canada, where a team of researchers found footprints dating back 13,000 years. Photo by Jim Stafford

Earliest known footprints in North America date back 13,000 years

Two adults and one child left the oldest known set of human footprints in North America, according to research published last week.

The 29 footprints on Calvert Island, located off the western coast of British Columbia, date back 13,000 years, researchers from the University of Victoria in Canada said. They believe the area served as one of the earliest settlement points for the ancestors of today's First Nations peoples.

“This provides evidence that people were inhabiting the region at the end of the last ice age,” anthropologist Duncan McLaren of the Hakai Institute, who is the lead author of the study, told The New York Times. “It is possible that the coast was one of the means by which people entered the Americas at that time.”

The team that studied the site included representatives of the Heiltsuk First Nation and the Wuikinuxv First Nation, according to the research article, which was published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Read More on the Story:
Earliest Known Human Footprints in North America Found on Canadian Island (The New York Times March 28, 2018)
Oldest Human Footprints in North America Discovered: Here's What They Reveal (Live Science March 28, 2018)
Oldest Human Footprints in North America Discovered (History.Com March 28, 2018)
Ancient B.C. footprints confirmed as earliest known in North America (The Canadian Press March 29, 2018)

Research Article:
McLaren D, Fedje D, Dyck A, Mackie Q, Gauvreau A, Cohen J (2018) Terminal Pleistocene epoch human footprints from the Pacific coast of Canada. PLoS ONE 13(3): e0193522. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0193522

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