Early Human Footprints Found in Chihuahua

Posted: October 4, 2011

Author: Jessica S.

#MexicoToday: Mexico has received a lot of attention over the years for discoveries that trace back  thousands of years ago: ancient tombs, Mayan palaces, pre-Hispanic carvings, and now human footprints. Found in northern Mexico’s Sierra Tarahuamara in Chihuahua, officials said these footprints could have been left by some of the original humans who inhabited Mexico and even the continent.

According to the National Anthropology and History Institute (INAH), the five human footprints, which were discovered by locals hiking in the mountain chain, could be between 4,500 and 23,000 years old.  To date, the oldest human remains in the Americas on record are 11,600 years old; these too were found in Mexico, in a cenote (sinkhole) in Quintana Roo.  Scientists are hoping to authenticate these human steps found in Chihuahua as even older than these remains.  The INAH, currently undergoing a project called “Early Man in Mexico”, believe that this discovery could be extremely significant as these footprints are not only the earliest on record in Chihuahua but also are potentially from the first human beings to settle the whole continent.

Following this finding, the INAH began a detailed investigation of the area which uncovered traces of other primitive shelters and campsites. Near the original site, just outside of Creel in Ahuatos Valley, they also uncovered five caves, three of them with several layers of paintings. The cave paintings originated over three different periods of time, pre-ceramic, pre-Hispanic and colonial which leads our experts to believe that humans were present in the area from times dating all the way back to the Ice Age, over 12,000 years ago!

Mexico has repeatedly proven to be a never ending source of exciting archeological discovery.  This discovery comes just months after a new Mayan Palace was discovered in Chiapas and  two sculptures of Mayan Warriors  discovered at Toniná.  The opportunities for archeological enthusiasts abound and Mexico remains a world class destination for travel into the ancient past.

 

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