Homo antecessor :eek:. Jeez, scientists had already lost me!
I don’t fully understand.
If this was in rock, how could the prints already be gone?
If not in rock, how on earth could they know how old the prints were?
The footprints were uncovered by erosion. The erosion continued and destroyed the footprints.
I would guess that they dated them the same way they date any human artifact in non-rock strata (which, I assume, would include almost all human artifacts) – by dating the layers above and below the artifact. Even though the layers above the foot print clay layer have eroded at this location, that same clay layer likely extends into other areas that haven’t eroded and still have undisturbed layers above them.
They must have caught them in the nick of time! On the other hand, it strikes my funny-bone to think that it could have been from a modern-day family-picnic. I’m not ribbing the science of dating, but it does make me smile.
The other thing I’m wondering: the tide has been coming in and out and eroding that area for millennia, correct? If so, then its doubly amazing they caught these footprints, and they eroded not too long after.