It’s hard to imagine a footprint, or two, surviving one generation or a hundred years. But, in the case of a pair of Stone Age fishermen in the southern portions of the Baltic Sea, their footprints survived 5,000-years before being discovered by archeologists in Denmark.
They found that the footprints, thanks to a tool that was also found near the site, was perfectly preserved due to the extreme cold, and surrounding conditions – but were from around 3,000 B.C. What they found was that it was located near a fishing-fence, or something that many fishermen of the time would use fishing in the area. The fishing fences had been found before, in surrounding areas, but the footprints were the last thing that the archeologists expected. “This is really quite extraordinary, finding footprints from humans. Normally, what we find is their rubbish in the form of tools and pottery, but here, we suddenly have a completely different type of trace from the past, footprints left by a human being,” Terje Stafseth said.
He was the leader on the research team that was working to collect artifacts and assorted historical objects in Denmark before they are erased forever by construction. The construction that will be taking place, and beginning in the next year will wipe out the dried up fjords, like the one that housed this remarkable find. According to the scientists while the dried up inlets are fairly easily accessible, they’re great places to look for artifacts of this nature because they’re somewhat untouched, and they were not always dry. It’s almost like natures casting system, rolled into one location.
The Fjords were dried after the building of a dyke in 1877. According to archeologists, Between 5,000 B.C and 2,000 B.C these footprints formed. The archeologists even noted that the footprints were in consecutive form, reminding them that they were from the same individual or same group of individuals in one instance. Additionally, they noted that the fishing fence they found was a tool for fishing that would house individual tools that could be picked up, and moved in one large swath, rather than move things individually.