Monday, April 20, 2015

1.5 Million Year Footprints in Kenya

Archaic human footprint found in Ileret, Kenya
Several sets provide evidence of males travelling in groups.

Archaic human footprints were found near a lake in Ileret, Kenya in the early 2000's. The 22 footprints were discovered in two sedimentary layers dated at 1.51 to 1.53 million years ago, providing the oldest evidence of an essentially modern human–like foot anatomy, with a relatively adducted hallux, medial longitudinal arch, and medial weight transfer before push-off.

The study appears here. The report focused on the anatomy of these footprints and found that these archaic humans ambulated like modern humans. Neil Roach returned to Ileret and found more footprints — about 100. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society in San Francisco. These prints represent multiple individuals walking in one direction along a lakeside, possibly hunting for antelope or wildebeest.

Jeremy DeSilva's research showed that Australopithecus lacked the large grasping toe typical of tree climbers, and its spine, pelvis, knees, and ankles were made for walking on two legs. DeSilva compared the ankle joint, the tibia and the talus fossils of human ancestors ("hominins") between 4.12 million to 1.53 million years old, he discovered that all of the ankle joints resembled those of modern humans rather than those of apes. Chimpanzees flex their ankles 45 degrees from normal resting position. This makes it possible for apes to climb trees with great ease. While walking, humans flex their ankles a maximum of 20 degrees. The human ankle bones are quite distinct from those of apes

“Upright walking is such a unique way of moving,” says DeSilva, assistant professor of anthropology at Boston University. “If you look across the animal world, locomotion is so diverse: things fly, things swim. Moving on two legs is odd."

Humans are unique in so many ways.

This discovery of a complete fourth metatarsal of A. afarensis at Hadar shows the deep, flat base and tarsal facets that "imply that its midfoot had no ape-like midtarsal break. These features show that the A. afarensis foot was functionally like that of modern humans." The February 2011 report was written by Carol Ward, William H. Kimbel, and Donald C. Johanson. Johanson worked with Mary Leakey on other significant finds.

Johanson and Leakey were scheduled to speak at a Nobel Symposium in Sweden in May 1978. The conference honored Mary Leakey, who received a medal from the King of Sweden for her scientific investigations. Leakey was embarrassed when Donald C. Johanson announced that his Afar Triangle finds were ape, and included Mary Leakey's 4 million year old Laetoli specimen (jaw bone LH4) from Tanzania as an exhibit. Leakey would have classified her Laetoli finds as Homo/human. She expressed her regret that “the Laetoli fellow is now doomed to be called Australopithecus afarensis.”

Archaic human footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania 

Mary Leakey’s 1979 discoveries of footprints in Tanzania added to the evidence that humans walked the earth over 3 million years ago. At Laetoli, about 25 miles south of Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, Leakey discovered footprints of a man, woman and child created about 3.6 million years ago and preserved under falling ash from the nearby Sadiman volcano. The raised arch and rounded heel of the footprints showed that whoever left these footprints walked as humans walk today.

There is a great deal of ego gratification in naming a "new" stage in human evolution, but analysis of all these footprints indicates that these creatures were fully human. From over 3 million years to the present, there was been a limited amount of physical changes in humans. Devotion to the theory of evolutionary branching of ape and human from a common ancestor is not supported by the data.


J Eppinga said...

Human feet come in all shapes and sizes. Mine are wide and flat. My wife's are smaller and she can pick up things with them. These are different than even ours. Do some folks have these long slender feet, today?

Thanks much. :)

Alice C. Linsley said...

Watusi feet are long and narrow like this.

The study indicates that not all the feet were exactly like that shown in this photo.

There is a theory that the configuration of toes and they way they morph with age, is genetic and possibly could be used to "type" archaic peoples.

DManA said...

My father could play the piano with his toes.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Linsley, I've had the good fortune to introduce your blog to several just recently. ...I went back and read some of your Anglican posts from several years ago. Great stuff. ...Thanks for your faithfulness with this blog. I hope you're doing well. Best to you. Brent

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks so much, Brent. I am well and looking forward to retirement in only 5 weeks!

I intend to finish my book "Readings in Biblical Anthropology" and then hope to have an opportunity to teach a class at a seminary or college were I can test it as a textbook.

You might want to refer people to my other blog which has material related to other books of the Bible:

It is always good to hear from you. The Lord bless you!

Anonymous said...

Ms. Linsley,

Congratulations on your upcoming "retirement". But it sounds a lot like non-retirement to me. Your best work lies ahead.

Btw, you provided a quite generous review of the movie Noah last year. I just finished watching on Netflix and...well. OTOH, it's a good Hollywood yarn and Jennifer Connelly makes an excellent granny. Who knew?!?

Great to communicate again. Stay in touch.

Respectfully and affectionately,


Alice C. Linsley said...

Thanks, Brent, for that encouragement! I hope to continue to share the research on Genesis and to further develop the field of Biblical Anthropology.

You have followed this research for enough years to know that it has been a slow and steady effort. I have revised some of my original ideas because they do not align with findings in anthropology, linguistics, and molecular genetics. Likewise, data found in Genesis has led me to explore new areas that have proven fruitful. One example involves the emergence of the Christian priesthood in Britain, Ireland and Scotland before 44 A.D. This is largely overlooked, but the evidence of Horite ruler-priests being there in the capacity of mining experts is too compelling to ignore. There is also the DNA evidence of the dispersion of the R1b lineages into those areas. Most of this research has been posted at my other blog Biblical Anthropology. It suggests that the Anglican priestly succession is directly connected to the priesthood of Israel and their Horite ancestors. This presents a very different picture than the common narrative about a 5th century missionary team sent from Rome to evangelize the Angles.

The work continues to be misrepresents and misunderstood. Today one of my students told me that he had read a "rumor" about me on the internet. I laughed and asked him, "Which rumor?" There are several that seem to be circulating. This one has me telling the world that Jesus is Zeus! Not sure exactly where that came from, but that is nonsense, of course. As an anthropologist, I regard that as the equivalent of a mixed metaphor, something I am careful to avoid. :)

Anonymous said...

Ms. Linsley, I'm not surprised that you discovered that Anglican orders are descendants from Horite lines. The current spectacle is a bit mis-shapen now, but we see what the future holds. ...I think it's strange that anyone telling the truth about anything, really, ducks a lot of bricks. So to be misrepresented might be an honor. At the end of the day (and one's life) truth discovered or sometimes recovered is merely the reflection of the Author of all truth. ...I'm 'in the soup' of a workaday life, but continue to enjoy and profit from your writings and blog. Brent

Alice C. Linsley said...


I'd like to introduce you to a blog where I am presenting much more of the science related to Biblical data. See this:

This is used by students who want to make sense of things that they have been told that don't make sense. :)

Alice C. Linsley said...

Also, if you are on Facebook, consider joining the forum "The Bible and Anthropology."