Just like us humans, our ancestors, also known as Neanderthals, also lived in groups. However, how big they were and how they exactly looked like is still a mystery as archeological remains don’t give much information.
Nevertheless, now, scientists have reported having found more than 250 footprints in France. They’ve been found near the Normandy shore and are said to have been preserved for almost 80,000 years. This is an archeological milestone that can now help scientists to decipher the features and the social structure of our cousins.
This site was discovered by a relatively inexperienced archeologist named Yves Roupin back in the 1960s. However, due to natural causes, the site was damaged. Later in 2012, excavations were funded by the government. Many meters of sand was dug into and excavated with shovels to avoid damaging materials of interest. It was when the team shifted to brushes that they discovered the footprints, and have been discovering them till this date.
However, just having these footprints isn’t enough. A famous archeologist said that these footprints might be of someone who happened to be outside of his territory at the moment. Considering that these footprints were small in size, archeologists were curious if the Neanderthals died young, or if the adults lived elsewhere.
Each footprint was further photographed and preserved. Thanks to technological advances these days, they were able to preserve many footprints by lifting them from their original site. The ones which were left behind were considered completely damaged.
Before this discovery, only nine footprints were found near Greece, Romania, Gibraltar, and France. Some of the casts previously preserved have been exhibited in museums. Researchers aim towards giving people more of these preserves to look at. They wish to broaden the people’s perspectives through more remains that they are hopeful to find in the Normandy shore ruins.