Nature

Discovery of Controversial 5.7-Million-Year-Old Footprints in Greece Could ‘Rewrite’ Human History

It has long been believed and established that humans originated from Africa, with extensive studies supposedly showing that the first humans walked in this continent but researches in a recent study claims their new findings can ‘rewrite’ human history.

Professor Per Ahlberg from Uppsala University in Sweden claims to have found an ancient footprint on the island of Crete in Greece which could prove that the oldest humans did not live in Africa but in Greece.

What makes this claim quite controversial is that humans are believed to have existed for just around 300,000 years but Ahlberg’s study dates the ancient footprint to about 5.7 million years ago! Could this mean humans have been around for millions of years?

By Matteo De Stefano/MUSEThis file was uploaded by MUSE – Science Museum of Trento in cooperation with Wikimedia Italia. [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
This is a rather exciting find; although this still places humans at a relatively ‘young’ timescale and still wouldn’t bring us anywhere near the age of the dinosaurs (230 to 65 million years ago) but if the professor’s study could be substantiated, with other relevant evidence uncovered, then human history would have to be rewritten for sure!

Based on the study conducted by Ahlberg’s team, the footprint they found on Crete was made by a fully evolved human foot. With this in mind, the researchers concluded that the foot “clearly belonged to our early human ancestors”.

With the footprint dated to 5.7 million years ago, it meant that this human ancestor had walked the Earth at the time when island of Crete has not yet broken away from mainland Greece. This means this particular ancestor could have roamed in Greece and nearby areas as well.

To add perspective into things, this human ancestor has lived on Earth at the time when the Sahara Desert did not exist yet! Isn’t this a rather exciting find?

Biswarup Ganguly [GFDL, CC BY 3.0, GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Source :

UNILAD

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