A team of archaeologists from the Hakai Institute and the University of Victoria say they have unearthed the oldest human footprints ever found in North America.

 In a report released on June 19, 2015, on excavations off the coast of British Columbia, Dr. Daryl Fedje and Dr. Duncan McLaren found on a shoreline on Calvert Island dozens of human footprints that had remained intact in the clay for thousands of years. The date of the most ancient footprints excavated, 13,200 years old, would make them the oldest in North America. Other footprints discovered nearby were dated to 2,000 years ago.

At the oldest site the team found 12 distinct footprints belonging to a large adult, a smaller adult and a child. Also found were the remains of a hearth fire that the small group, possibly a family, were likely gathered around.

The hearth had been full of charcoal, which remained in the footprints and allowed them to be radiocarbon dated.

Research on offshore sites, while extremely difficult, may prove to yield more interesting finds, as the coastlines of the Americas, a likely home for ancient Indians, were submerged after the last ice-age.

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