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Oldest known human footprint discovered: 6 million years old

Scientists announced that they had found ancient footprints of human ancestors. It has been announced that around 50 footprints discovered on the Greek island of Crete are 6.05 million years old. The new discovery sheds light on human development and diffusion in the dark ages, the researchers said.

In 2002, about 50 footprints were found near the village of Trachilos in Crete, Greece. The traces were preserved by nature in some type of sedimentary rock, possibly because the Mediterranean Sea dries up in a short time, the researchers said.
However, it was unclear which species originally left human-like traces. However, the tracks indicated that the big toe was very similar to modern humans, with a heel on the sole that was not found in monkeys.
Results showing that the footprints belong to hominins * were published in 2017. However, further analysis was required to date them accurately.
Biological classification that includes modern humans, extinct human species, and all recent human ancestors.
Currently, the evolutionary history of hominins and their trends in spread is hotly debated by the scientific community, and the origins and identity of the first representatives of the hominin lineage remains an unanswered question.
In the new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers used geophysical and micropalaeontological tools and dated the footprints to 6.05 million years ago.
“This means that the footprints are more than 2.5 million years older than those of the 3.7 million year old Australopithecus afarensis (known human ancestor named Lucy), which was discovered in Laetoli, Tanzania,” said the co-author of the study, Uwe Kirscher.
On the other hand, the history of the Trachilos footprints found in Crete offers researchers a whole new perspective on six million years of human evolution. During this time, the Peloponnese region connected Crete with mainland Greece. prof. DR. “We cannot ignore the link between the owner of the footprints and the possible pre-human Graecopithecus freybergi (an ancient species of hominid, also known as the Greek monkey),” said Madelaine Böhme.
A few years ago, Boehme’s team identified a now unknown prehuman species based on fossils obtained from 7.2 million year old sediments from the city of Athens, only a few hundred kilometers from Crete. The find also supports recent work and theses by the Böhme team, which claim that human ancestors split it off from humid East Africa six million years ago.
Fossils from Crete; It is roughly as old as the remains of the upright monkey Orrorin tugenensis, Africa’s oldest pre-human species, which lived 6.1 to 5.8 million years ago and originated in Kenya.
Short-term desertification and the geographical distribution of early human ancestors may therefore be more closely linked than previously thought. A drought in Mesopotamia 6.25 million years ago likely triggered the migration of European mammals, including monkeys, to Africa.

On the other hand, regardless of the proximity of the Trachilos footprints to human ancestry, the study improved the age of the tracks by placing them on a more reliable geochronological basis. The researchers hope that future descriptive and comparative analyzes will be based on the robust time frame, which will allow a more accurate assessment of the true meaning of the Trachilos footprints and their relationship to the hominid lineage.

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