Sub-Saharan Africa
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Earliest Homo Sapiens Footprint, Left 153,000 Years Ago, Found in South Africa

© Photo Charles HelmHomo Sapiens footmark left 153,000 years ago found in South Africa
Homo Sapiens footmark left 153,000 years ago found in South Africa - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 27.05.2023
Older than the recently found Homo sapiens traces a those left by such species as Australopithecines, Homo heidelbergensis, and Homo erectus. Some of them were discovered in East Africa with the oldest site, Laetoli, dating back 3.66 million years, and the youngest being 700,000 years old.
The earliest footprint associated with our species, Homo sapiens, dated back 153,000 years has been discovered in Garden Route National Park, a national park in the Garden Route region of South Africa's Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces.
A little more than 20 years ago, at the start of the 21st century, it appeared that the traces left behind by our early human predecessors dating back more than 50,000 years were exceedingly rare, researchers Charles Helm and his coworkers from Nelson Mandela University, who made the discovery, told media.
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According to the researchers, so far just four sites older than 50,000 years – Laetoli in Tanzania, Koobi Fora in Kenya, and the Nahoon and Langebaan sites in South Africa – had been identified across the whole continent of Africa.

"Today, the African tally for dated hominin ichnosites (a term for footprints and other traces) older than 50,000 years stands at 14," one of the researchers said.

Using a technique known as optically stimulated luminescence, researchers estimated the age of seven hominin ichnosites located in the South African cluster on the Cape's south coast. This method allowed the team to determine the approximate age of these sites and gain insights into the history and evolution of hominins in the region.