Archaeologists working on Calvert Island, located on British Columbia’s central coast, have discovered what may be the oldest footprints documented in North America. They found fossilized footprints of what may be a small family group, of one large adult (likely male), small adult (likely female) and child-sized footprints, near a fire pit. The dating of the charcoal indicates the dating of the foot prints must be very close to 13,200 years old.
[quote_center]”We figure that at some point people were hanging out around this fire,”… “They left their footprints in the grey clay and then they were subsequently filled by this black sand, which essentially preserved the footprints.”[/quote_center]
said Archaeologist Duncan McLaren, part of a larger research team from the University of Victoria, Hakai Institute, and Heiltsuk and Wuikinuxv First Nations. The team purposefully selected the shoreline of Calvert because despite sea level changes in the region the level around Calvert remain the same as it was thousands of years again.
Any foot prints dating older than 10,000 ago are incredibly rare, but others have been found in the region, nearby in Haida Gwaii that are about 800 years younger.
[quote_center]“It shows that this place we inhabit has a long history,” said McLaren, “Often in Canada and North America the history of the land is glossed over as being very recent, but if you look at the archaeology it’s showing there’s a very long-term history of occupation and land use going back 13,000 years.”[/quote_center]
The oldest human footprints in the America’s date to 14,500 in Chile’s Monte Verde.