Even though we weren’t around thousands of years ago to know for sure how ancient humans were getting along with their lives, we surely can consider ourselves privileged to explore the aftermath. Over 400 footprints made in wet volcanic mudflow during times from 5,000 and 19,000 years ago are coming to provide us a good idea of how those humans were living.
The location for the new findings is Engare Sero from south of Tanzania’s Lake Natron. Kevin Hatala led the research, as he’s an assistant professor of biology from the Chatham University. He spoke about the importance of the discovery by saying:
“Given the rarity and value of this variety of fossil evidence, part of what makes our discovery exciting is its magnitude, with over 400 footprints preserved on the same volcanic ash surface,”
“However, we have also been able to learn some really interesting things from these direct windows to the behavior of the group that walked across the footprint surface.”
It is known that large numbers of women rarely move in a group, and they are unaccompanied by children, except when foraging for food. But the make-up of the ancient group and the analysis of the footprints led the research team to theorize that the group of women was doing just that: foraging for food.
Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It has borders with Uganda to the north, with Kenya to the northeast, with Comoro Islands and the Indian Ocean to the east, with Mozambique and Malawi to the south, with Zambia to the southwest, and with and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west. Tanzania also hosts Africa’s highest mountain: Kilimanjaro.
However, Hatala admits that their hypothesis is only a theory. This means that further investigations are needed.