13,000 year-old footprints discovered on Canada's west coast
Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 14:00 - A new study published Wednesday suggests human footprints found off Canada's Pacific coast could be 13,000 years old.
The study was led by Duncan McLaren and comprised of colleagues from the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria.
Previous studies have revealed that during the last ice age, which ended about 11,700 years ago, humans migrated from Asia into the Americas, eventually making their way into what we now call British Columbia.
McLaren's team centered their research on the shoreline of Calvert Island, B.C., where sea levels have fallen by up to three metres since the last ice age.
The group discovered 29 human footprints in at least three different sizes in the area. Measurements suggest the footprints likely belonged to two barefoot adults and a child, and are probably 13,000 years old.
"This article details the discovery of footprints on the west coast of Canada with associated radiocarbon dates of 13,000 years before present," McLaren says in a statement.
"This finding provides evidence of the seafaring people who inhabited this area during the tail end of the last major ice age."
The team believes additional excavations in the area are likely to produce additional footprints.
The complete study can be found at PLOS One.
Photos courtesy of Dean McLaren