|31 December 2011
Tides reveal ancient footprints in northwest England
Prehistoric human footprints, thought to date back thousands of years, have been discovered on Crosby beach (Merseyside, England) after a series of high tides.
Members of the public are now being asked to help monitor the coastal prints, in Crosby and Formby, as part of the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership Scheme. Project officer Fiona Sunners said: "Two parallel tracks, approximately five metres long, were exposed and archaeologists are confident they are genuine and probably of the same broad date as those at Formby."
Erosion of sand on the beach at Formby - about 5km north of Crosby - revealed layers of mud and sediment, laid down and covered in the late Neolithic/early Bronze Age. These sediments often contain the footprints of humans and animals, most commonly aurochs, from that period.
"The tracks have been analysed by Gordon Roberts, an expert in historic footprints, who believes they were made by three well-built adult males, possibly around 6ft tall, and whose stature indicates a protein rich diet," Sunners said. "Perhaps they could be Mesolithic man - dating them to more than 4,000 years ago. With constant tidal movement, the footprints could be buried by sand very quickly so it is important that the footprints are recorded and the site monitored regularly. We are looking for volunteers as part of the Landscape Partnership Scheme to help undertake this task, both at Formby and now at Crosby." she added.
If you want to get involved in the 'Archaeology Volunteers' project or find out more about the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership Scheme, telephone 0151-934 2964 - or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can visit www.seftonsnaturalcoast.com or www.facebook.com/seftoncoast.
Edited from Crosby Herald (29 December 2011)
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