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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Oldest Egyptian Footprint?

Until very recently, the oldest recorded evidence of human life in Egypt dated back to about 200,000 years ago. That was before they discovered a footprint at the Siwa Oasis which some experts have been quoted as saying could be as much as 2 million years old or older. They are now carbon dating the plants in the mud around the find to try and determine exactly how old the footprint is.

Of course, carbon dating is not 100% and mistakes have been made - some of which are very famous. Unfortunately, it is the best indicator available to researchers at this time. Regardless of initial results, if they are impressive enough, you can bet the data will be re-tested and eventually, a consensus reached.

The footprint could possibly predate the oldest living human fossil, that of Lucy, found in Ethiopia in 1974 - or so at least one hopeful scientist says. "It could be the most important discovery in Egypt," he said.

- Source: BBC

© C Harris Lynn, 2007-08

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