Scientists have discovered human footprints on a beach in Morocco that were 90,000 years ago

This discovery pushed back the estimated origin of the human species by 100,000 years

A team of archaeologists from Morocco, Spain, France, and Germany has discovered what is believed to be the oldest human footprints in North Africa. The footprints, which date back about 100,000 years, were found on the Larache coast, a city located approximately 90 kilometers (55 miles) south of Tangier. The imprints are thought to have been left by a group of five Homo sapiens, including children, providing a unique insight into the daily lives of early humans in the region.

“This group (of Homo sapiens) was crossing the beach towards the sea, probably in search of food and shellfish,” Anass Sedrati, curator at the archaeological site of Lixus Larache, told AFP.
“They were probably fishermen or gatherers.”

The human footprints discovered by researchers and published in the scientific journal Nature in January, are among the most well-preserved in the world. The footprints are also the earliest found in North Africa and the southern Mediterranean, according to the study conducted by the researchers.

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The researchers, led by France’s Universite Bretagne Sud, revealed that they had made a discovery during a field mission in July 2022. The discovery was part of a scientific research project aimed at exploring the origins and dynamics of the boulders that are scattered along the coastline.

Back in 2017, a significant breakthrough was made when some remains of Homo sapiens, which dated back 300,000 years, were found in northwest Morocco. This discovery pushed back the estimated origin of the human species by 100,000 years.

The footprints found in Larache are another indication of the significance of this region in human history, according to Anass Sedrati. He also pointed out that traces of animals were also discovered.

“We must preserve this remarkable heritage site, even if it is threatened by rising sea levels and storms,” Mouncef Sedrati, head of the research project, told AFP.

“Other footprints will be discovered as sediments erode,” Sedrati said.

“It would be interesting then to follow this erosion and uncover new traces that would provide more details on Homo sapiens who lived along this coast.”

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