Historic discovery in Greece: they found human footprints 6 million years old

Footprints were found near Trachilos, Crete. Dating techniques have shown to be over six million years old (Europa Press)

The evolutionary history and dispersal patterns of humans are a matter of debate. One of the outstanding aspects is the origin and identification of the first representatives of the lineage. Despite numerous publications pointing to an origin in Africa, for example, there is evidence that the first humans could have evolved in Eurasia.. Evidence for the presence of humans from the Miocene period in Europe includes both corpses and fossil remains.

currently, Fossilized footprints on the Greek island of Crete give scientists a fascinating insight into how the human foot evolved six million years ago. Footprints were discovered in the petrified sediments of the beach near the town of Trachylos, They are two million years older than those left by the famous human ancestor named “Lucy”, found in Africa in 1974.

An international research team appreciates it Trachilos footprints date back 6.05 million years, making them the oldest direct evidence of a human-like foot used for walking..

The co-author explained in Latest published study for records analysis, Uwe Kirscher, University of Tübingen.

He noted that the finds placed Trachilos’ footprints the same age as Orrorin tugenensis of Kenya, who was recorded as walking upright. Previous finds involving the fossils of these feet include leg bones such as the femur, but no foot bones or footprints. Kircher described that “The dating of the footprints of Crete sheds light on the early development of human movement during prehistoric times.”

The traces were discovered in fossilized beach sediments, which are two million years older than those left by female humans called
The traces were discovered in fossilized beach sediments, which are 2 million years older than those left by a human female named ‘Lucy’, found in Africa in 1974 (Image source: Nature)

“The oldest human foot used for walking upright had a ball, with a strong parallel big toe and shorter lateral toes respectively. The foot had a shorter sole than Australopithecus. It was not clear until now,” said study co-author Per Ahlberg, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden. The arch and heel are narrower.”

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What brought them to Greece?

Scientists believe that Crete was still part of the mainland along with Greece through the Peloponnese region six million years ago. “We cannot rule out a relationship between the producer of the compositions and a possible Graecopithecus freybergi,” reported one of the study’s authors, Professor Madeleine Boehme, from the University of Tübingen.

Böhme’s team identified those previously unknown species several years ago, in what is now Europe. The discovery came from analyzing fossils in a 7.2 million-year-old sediment in Athens, just over 150 miles away.

The new study confirms the research and The latest theories of Professor Bohm’s team, who believe that six million years ago the continent of Europe and the Near East separated from humid East Africa Through a relatively short expansion of the desert. Geochemical analysis of the six-million-year-old beach sediments of Crete suggests that winds carried desert dust from North Africa.

The team of scientists calculated an age between 500 and 900 million years by dating dust-sized mineral grains. “These periods are typical for the presence of dust from the North African desert,” the researchers cite in their analysis.

Scientists believe that Crete was part of the mainland along with Greece six million years ago (Getty Images)
Scientists believe that Crete was part of the mainland along with Greece six million years ago (Getty Images)

Boehme added that recent studies also indicate that the African ape, Sahelanthropus, was not bipedal and that Orrorin tugenensis, which originated in Kenya and lived between 5.8 and 6.1 million years ago, is the oldest pre-human in Africa. Therefore, short-term desertification and the geographical distribution of early human ancestors may be more closely related than previously thought.

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On the other hand, a phase of desertification 6.25 million years ago in Mesopotamia could have started with the migration of European mammals, possibly including monkeys, for Africa. On the other hand, the second stage of the isolation of the continents by the Sahara six million years ago would have allowed a separate evolution of the African pre-human Orrorin tugenensis in parallel with that of the former European,” concludes Bohm.

According to this principle, which Bohme himself called the Desert Oscillation, the successive short-lived desertification of Mesopotamia and the Sahara caused the migration of mammals from Eurasia to Africa.

Regardless of the affinity of the Trachilos tracks with the lineage of hominins, the specialists in this article have improved the lifespan of these tracks by placing them on a safer geological footing. This is amazing It will allow future descriptive and comparative studies to be based on a robust time frame, facilitating the assessment of the true meaning of Trachilos footprints and their relationship to the human race..

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