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New Discoveries in Evolution

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  • #16
    Originally posted by David Hayward View Post
    800,000 year old footprints in Norfolk, Britain.

    "They are direct evidence of the earliest known humans in northern Europe."
    The British Natural History Museum has more detail including a video on their website

    We were here: earliest humans leave prints on Norfolk beach

    Amazing!

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by seer View Post
      I don't get it. How do they know these were made 800,000 years ago as opposed to 10,000 0r 5,000 years ago?
      That's a valid question. In the case of the Happisburgh early human settlements the dating was done through a combination of paleomagnetic analysis - indications of the Earth's magnetic field variations - and biostratigraphic analysis - the plants that were growing there at the time. Those two factors gave a range of from 0.99 to 0.78 million years ago

      nature09117-f5.2.jpg
      a–e, The age of the artefacts is constrained by the reversed polarity (a), the palaeobotany indicating deposition towards the end of an interglacial cycle, that is, cooling limb of odd-numbered isotope stage (b), combination of biostratigraphically significant mammals (c), and palaeogeographical context when the River Thames entered the North Sea at this site (e). This evidence indicates that the artefacts date from either MIS 21 (866–814 kyr) or 25 (970–936 kyr), which are the most prominent warm stages (that is, those most likely to have supported deciduous forest and other thermophilous plants—see Supplementary Information 1) in the period spanning 0.99–0.78 Myr. With the exception of Happisburgh 3, all European Early Pleistocene sites are located south of 45°N (d). The oxygen isotope record used to provide the climate record is the LR04 stack.
      Data from the paper

      Early Pleistocene human occupation at the edge of the boreal zone in northwest Europe
      Parfitt et al
      Nature 466, 229–233 (08 July 2010)

      Abstract: The dispersal of early humans from Africa by 1.75 Myr ago led to a marked expansion of their range, from the island of Flores in the east to the Iberian peninsula in the west. This range encompassed tropical forest, savannah and Mediterranean habitats, but has hitherto not been demonstrated beyond 45° N. Until recently, early colonization in Europe was thought to be confined to the area south of the Pyrenees and Alps. However, evidence from Pakefield (Suffolk, UK) at ~0.7 Myr indicated that humans occupied northern European latitudes when a Mediterranean-type climate prevailed6. This provided the basis for an ‘ebb and flow’ model, where human populations were thought to survive in southern refugia during cold stages, only expanding northwards during fully temperate climates. Here we present new evidence from Happisburgh (Norfolk, UK) demonstrating that Early Pleistocene hominins were present in northern Europe >0.78 Myr ago when they were able to survive at the southern edge of the boreal zone. This has significant implications for our understanding of early human behaviour, adaptation and survival, as well as the tempo and mode of colonization after their first dispersal out of Africa

      link to whole paper
      The PLoS paper mentioned in the article doesn't seem to be online yet.
      Last edited by HMS_Beagle; 02-07-2014, 12:07 PM.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
        That's a valid question. In the case of the Happisburgh early human settlements the dating was done through a combination of paleomagnetic analysis - indications of the Earth's magnetic field variations - and biostratigraphic analysis - the plants that were growing there at the time. Those two factors gave a range of from 0.99 to 0.78 million years ago
        I'm not saying that some kind of human settlement wasn't around in that area back then but why do they think these prints were made then and not later? I mean the layer where the prints were found was so porous and soft it washed away shortly after they found them.
        Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by seer View Post
          I don't get it. How do they know these were made 800,000 years ago as opposed to 10,000 0r 5,000 years ago?
          You do not appear either knowledgable nor willing to accept the scientific methods for dating rocks fossils and sediments. Do you accept that the earth is billions of years old? If you do similar dating methods are used to date everything in geologic history. First there is stratigraphic dating correlated with radiometric dating. These foot prints were found in rock dated both ways. They probably used potassium argon dating methods.
          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

          go with the flow the river knows . . .

          Frank

          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
            You do not appear either knowledgable nor willing to accept the scientific methods for dating rocks fossils and sediments. Do you accept that the earth is billions of years old? If you do similar dating methods are used to date everything in geologic history. First there is stratigraphic dating correlated with radiometric dating. These foot prints were found in rock dated both ways. They probably used potassium argon dating methods.

            Shuny, I'm not questioning the date of the sediment. But when the footprints were made. After all this sediment was so soft it washed away right after they found the prints. So why couldn't the prints have been made in this same 800,000 year old sediment say 10 or 15,000 years ago?
            Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by seer View Post
              I'm not saying that some kind of human settlement wasn't around in that area back then but why do they think these prints were made then and not later? I mean the layer where the prints were found was so porous and soft it washed away shortly after they found them.
              I found the reference to being washed away. They were photographed and measured before they washed away.
              Last edited by shunyadragon; 02-07-2014, 12:31 PM.
              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

              go with the flow the river knows . . .

              Frank

              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by seer View Post
                I'm not saying that some kind of human settlement wasn't around in that area back then but why do they think these prints were made then and not later? I mean the layer where the prints were found was so porous and soft it washed away shortly after they found them.
                Looks like the prints were in a layer of sediment contiguous with the shore settlement which would make them the approx. the same age. Apparently the prints had been covered/protected by a thick layer of sand which was only recently washed away by a severe winter storm.

                Will get more details when the paper goes online.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
                  Looks like the prints were in a layer of sediment contiguous with the shore settlement which would make them the approx. the same age. Apparently the prints had been covered/protected by a thick layer of sand which was only recently washed away by a severe winter storm.

                  Will get more details when the paper goes online.
                  Yes, but the the same layer could have just as well been exposed in the more recent past and the prints made then. And then covered by a thick layer of sand.
                  Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
                    I found the reference to being washed away. They were photographed and measured before they washed away.
                    I understand Shuny - I read both links. The point is that this sediment was rather soft. Who knows when in history these prints were really made.
                    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by seer View Post
                      I understand Shuny - I read both links. The point is that this sediment was rather soft. Who knows when in history these prints were really made.
                      By dating the sediments they were in.
                      Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                      Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                      But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                      go with the flow the river knows . . .

                      Frank

                      I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by seer View Post
                        I understand Shuny - I read both links. The point is that this sediment was rather soft. Who knows when in history these prints were really made.
                        The sediment where the prints were found would have been covered by many feet of other sediment, all the way up to the top of the cliff walls. To become exposed those covering layers would all have to be eroded away. The prints must have been made very shortly after the sediment layer was laid down.

                        The video shows this nicely in the core samples used to reach from the cliff tops to the sediment footprint layer. The video also explains more about how ancient pollen was used in the biostratagraphic dating.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
                          The sediment where the prints were found would have been covered by many feet of other sediment, all the way up to the top of the cliff walls. To become exposed those covering layers would all have to be eroded away. The prints must have been made very shortly after the sediment layer was laid down.

                          The video shows this nicely in the core samples used to reach from the cliff tops to the sediment footprint layer. The video also explains more about how ancient pollen was used in the biostratagraphic dating.

                          Ok, I see how they get there. It is not unreasonable...
                          Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jbnueb2OI4o&t=3s

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by HMS_Beagle View Post
                            The sediment where the prints were found would have been covered by many feet of other sediment, all the way up to the top of the cliff walls. To become exposed those covering layers would all have to be eroded away. The prints must have been made very shortly after the sediment layer was laid down.

                            The video shows this nicely in the core samples used to reach from the cliff tops to the sediment footprint layer. The video also explains more about how ancient pollen was used in the biostratagraphic dating.
                            Many thanks for discovering the supplementary information that should have been in the PLoS article linked to by the BBC, but which was missing; all I found on PLoS was the article below on how to preserve and record ancient footprints, which by their very nature are vulnerable to weather etc: Preserving the Impossible: Conservation of Soft-Sediment Hominin Footprint Sites and Strategies for Three-Dimensional Digital Data Capture; it at least discusses the issues and solutions.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by David Hayward View Post
                              ...the PLoS article linked to by the BBC, but which was missing....
                              The Happisburgh 800,000 year old footprints article is now no longer missing.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                New information from Spain


                                New Dates for Atapuerca Cave Homo antecessor Site that relates to footprint discoveries in the British Isles.

                                Originally posted by http://www.archaeology.org/news

                                BURGOS, SPAIN—A study employing new dating methods and techniques by researchers from the Spanish National Research Centre for Human Evolution shows that the sediments at the Gran Dolina site, where the first remains of Homo antecessor were found, are 900,000 years old, or 120,000 years older than previously thought. “The change might sound very small or very large, but the TD6 stratum is known precisely as having been the place of discovery of the Homo antecessor and this further defines its age,” Josep M. Pares, leader of the study, told Science Daily. The team will attempt to date individual fossils, especially teeth, in the next phase of refining the chronology.
                                Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                                Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                                But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                                go with the flow the river knows . . .

                                Frank

                                I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                                Comment

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