Archaeologists began to dig near Canada’s Pacific coast where they found astounding evidence of human footprints dating back to the end of last Ice Age. The research paper published in PLOS One by a team of archaeologists states that they found impressions of 29 footprints along the shoreline of Calvert Island in British Columbia. To put things into context, usually, when scientists are looking for traces of ancient human activities, they expect stone tools, cave arts, relics as the remains that they could find. However, recent findings have revealed impressions of 29 footprints well-preserved at the shoreline which is believed to be as for as-as 13,000 years.
Scientists suggest that these findings could help ascertain potential first migrant in America through Pacific west coast. As it is said, during the last Ice Age, it created a massive ice sheet called Cordilleran Ice Sheet which bifurcated Eurasia (Europe and Asia) from American continent while acting as a barrier preventing any voyage. However, as the ice began to melt around 16,000 to 15,000 years ago, the barrier succumb which led to ventures between the two continent from Beringia and Serbia. However, scientist are still unaware of the venture routes taken.
There are basically two theories which could explain the migratory routes. According to the first one, humans began to migrate to the Pacific west coast when the ice began to melt and an ice-free corridor was formed. Another popular theory which is better known as Coastal Migration Theory (Kelp Highway Hypothesis) states how humans would have traveled through the shoreline from British Columbia and Alaska to North America some 12,600 years ago after the ice around the coastal line began to melt roughly 2,000 to 3,000 years ago.
While digging up for evidence such as artifacts and relics at the British Columbia’s Calvert Island, an archaeologist from Hakai Institue and the University of Victoria found 29 human footprints spread across Americas which has intrigued the scientist to conduct further investigation.
The footprints were found pressed into a layer of paleosol which is the layer preserved by sediments. Scientists performed radiocarbon over the region and estimated its age at around 13,317 and 12,633 years old. Moving on, the researchers analyzed the footprints and found them belonging to three individuals consisting of a child and two adults. The impression left the toe mark visible which is an evidence that they were barefoot.
It is believed to be the youngest impressions of footprints dating back to 12,625 years old. Gary Haynes, a fellow anthropologist said that they have collected all the evidence and recorded the site and everything they could get and finally ascertained that these impressions are probably of human beings and no one else.