Footprints Tell a Tale of Everyday Life – #365papers – 2018 – 46

Altamura, Bennett, D’Aout, Gaudzinski-Windheuser, Melis, RAynolds, and Mussi, 2018, Archaeology and ichnology at Gombore II-2, Melka Kunture, Ethiopia: everyday life of a mixed-age hominin group 700,000 years ago: Scientific Reports, v. 8, 2815

What’s it about?

At a 700,000 year old archaeological site, mixed in with the footprints of hippos, birds, and various hoofed mammals are the footprints of people, ranging from adult to toddler. The presence of different ages of humans with evidence of animals and many archaeological specimens tells us that this reflects what everyday life may have looked like for people 700,000 years ago.

Why does it matter?

Evidence of active groups of people of all ages are rare in the fossil record. Here, we learn that the children may have been with their families while butchering activities were taking place.

Why did I read this?

Ichnology (the study of fossil tracks and traces) is an under-appreciated discipline. I couldn’t help but want to read this.

Published by paleololigo

Scientist (Paleontology, Geochemistry, Geology); Writer (Speculative and Science Fiction, plus technical and non-technical Science); Mom to great boy on the Autism spectrum; possessor of too many hobbies.

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