Researchers have uncovered 13,000-years-old footprints belonging to two adults and a child in Canada’s British Columbia, according to a study.
In total, 29 footprints were uncovered on the shoreline of Calvert Island.
“Fossilised footprints are rarely found in archaeological sites, although are (known) from coastal areas where they are sometimes exposed by erosion,” CNN quoted Duncan McLaren, lead study author and assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Victoria and the Hakai Institute, as saying on Wednesday.
The footprints had distinct sizes, showing three barefoot individuals.
Impressions of their arches, toes and heels were clearly visible. They would equate today with a woman’s size 8-9, a junior’s size 8 and a woman’s size 3.
Some of the heel prints tend to drag, implying that they slipped in the shoreline mud.
“Primarily the three different sizes of footprints found conjures up the image of a nuclear family or small group of people using the area,” McLaren said.
“Most of the footprints face inland… and they may represent a place where people were disembarking from watercraft before moving to a drier area.”
This finding was particularly impactful because archaeological evidence of humans in the area during that time period is lacking, CNN reported.
During the last ice age, which ended around 11,700 years ago, many researchers believe that humans moved from Asia using a land bridge to reach North America — now the west coast of British Columbia and south coastal regions of Canada.