The remarkable prehistoric journey of a terrified mother and her young child through a muddy riverbed visited by ancient predators has been discovered by scientists.
The fossils show a small adult, most likely a woman, but probably a teenage man, who spent nearly a mile through the hunter 13,000 years ago.
The analysis shows that the adult was hurrying on dirty terrain at a fast pace while carrying a two-year-old child.
The couple, probably aware of the danger in which they found themselves, never deviated from a perfectly straight path so as to minimize the time they were exposed to.
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The remarkable prehistoric journey of a terrified mother and her young child through a muddy riverbed visited by ancient predators has been discovered by scientists. The photo shows the artist’s impression of what the insidious journey looked like
For most of the trip, there is a set of fingerprints, those of an adult. But in some places they are joined by a series of small children’s songs (pictured)
The 1.5 km (0.9 mile) walk was discovered in New Mexico and also shows that the human path was later crossed by a mammoth and a giant sloth. This is the longest known path of early human footprints ever discovered.
A separate analysis of the game, a dried-up lake, reveals that the area was also popular for saber-toothed cats, horrible wolves, bison and camels.
During this period of history, about 13,000 years ago, humans hunted some of these animals and were hunted by others, making the journey extremely dangerous.
According to the researchers who discovered and analyzed the traces, the mother also knew this, hence her fast pace.
The fossilized footprints show a small adult, most likely a woman, but probably a teenage man, traveling nearly a mile through the hunter-gatherer. The sediment under the feet makes it difficult to walk and also immortalizes the fingerprints
The analysis shows that the man was hurrying on dirty terrain at a fast pace while carrying a two-year-old child. The couple, probably aware of the danger in which they find themselves, have never deviated from the perfectly straight path to minimize their exposure time.
In an article for The Conversation, Professor Matthew Robert Bennett and Professor Sally Christine Reynolds of the University of Bournemouth wrote: “The ground was wet and smooth with mud and they were moving at a speed that would be exhausting.
“We think they were walking at over 1.7 meters per second [3.8 mph] – The comfortable walking speed is about 1.2 to 1.5 meters per second [2.6 to 3.4 mph] on a flat dry surface.
Researchers know that the woman and her child were in a hurry because of the shape and depth of the prints, which were scanned in 3D.
For most of the trip, there is a set of fingerprints, those of an adult. But in some places they are joined by a series of small children’s songs.
Researchers suggest that this may have been when the adult who was carrying the young child left the young man to either change his hips or rest.
Holidays in this area would be risky, as clues reveal that it is full of dangerous beasts, all capable of killing passengers.
Researchers say they do not know where the couple is headed, as the songs have inevitably expired.
Wherever the couple went, the adult returned to the same path a few hours later, but this time she was alone.
Without having to drag herself around an inevitably irritable child, the mother found it easier to cross this hostile land.
“The trail tells a remarkable story. What was this individual doing alone and with a child who came out of the game moving fast? say the researchers in The Conversation.
“It is clear that this speaks of a social organization, they knew their destination and were confident in a friendly reception.
– Was the child sick? Or was she returned to her mother? Did a rainstorm come quickly to catch a mother and child unprepared?
The 1.5 km (0.9 mile) walk was discovered in New Mexico and also shows that the human path was crossed later by a mammoth and a giant sloth.
Researchers know that the woman and her child rushed because of the shape and depth of the prints, which were scanned in 3D (pictured)
“We have no way of knowing and it is easy to give in to speculation for which we have little evidence.
“What we can say is that the woman was probably uncomfortable in this hostile landscape, but she was ready to make the trip anyway.”
In the short period between the departure of the adult and the return, their chosen path was crossed by the already extinct megafauna.
Huge animals roamed the plains of America, and traces of these animals helped scientists date the event.
“Between traveling outside and returning, a sloth and a mammoth have walked the outer path,” the researchers said.
“The footprints of the return trip, in turn, cross these animal tracks. Lazy tracks show awareness of the human passage. ‘
“As the animal approaches the aisle, it appears to have resurrected on its hind legs to capture the scent – a pause by turning and trampling on human footprints before descending on all fours and setting off. He was aware of the danger.
“In contrast, mammoth tracks, in a place made by a large bull, cross the human path without deviation, most likely not noticed by humans.”
The study is published in Quaternary Science Reviews.
Ancient fingerprints found in Saudi Arabia reveal how humans may have followed lakes and rivers to migrate from Africa to Eurasia 120,000 years ago
Archaeologists have discovered the earliest human footprints ever found on the Arabian Peninsula.
They are believed to be about 120,000 years old and are located on the site of an ancient lake in the present-day Nefud Desert.
This region was crucial for the migration of people outside Africa and the rest of the world, serving as a gateway between Africa and Eurasia.
It is believed that humans appeared in Africa about 300,000 years ago and did not reach the Levant for more than 150,000 years.
Experts previously believed that people made this trip along coastal routes, but researchers behind the latest finding believe this is not necessarily true.
They theorize that instead of following the ocean, humans may have taken inland roads and followed lakes and rivers.
Along with human scars, there are 233 fossils and 369 animal tracks, including 44 elephant footprints and 107 camels, indicating that the lake was a popular hole.
“The presence of large animals such as elephants and hippos, along with open pastures and large water resources, could make North Arabia a particularly attractive place for people moving between Africa and Eurasia,” said study co-author Michael Petraglia of Max Planck. “Institute.
Today, the Arabian Peninsula is characterized by vast, dry deserts that would be inhospitable to the early humans and the animals they hunted.
But research over the past decade has shown that this has not always been the case and would be lush and humid during a period known as the last interglacial.
Professor Ian Candy of Royal Holloway, co-author of the study, said the time was an “important moment in human prehistory.”