Ancient footprints of acahualinca radiocarbon dating

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The ancestral River Thames flowed further north than it does today before converging with the ancient Bytham River, Happisburgh lay about 15 miles (24 km) further inland than it does today and was the site of an ancient estuary where the Bytham and Thames rivers converged to flow into what would then have been a maritime bay.When the footprints were made, the estuary occupied a grassy, open valley surrounded by pine forests, with a climate similar to that of modern southern Scandinavia.Prehistoric discoveries have been noted since 1820, when fishermen trawling oyster beds offshore found their nets had brought up teeth, bones, horns and antlers from elephants, rhinos, giant deer and other extinct species.An exceptionally high tide in February 1825 exposed more prehistoric remains when it swept away sediment that had buried an ancient landscape of fossilized tree stumps, animal bones and fir cones.

It is possible that the group might have lived on an island in the estuary that provided safety from predators, and were travelling from their island base to the shore at low tide.Between 20, eighty palaeolithic flint tools, mostly cores, flakes and flake tools, were excavated from the foreshore in sediment dating back to up to 950,000 years ago.The tools are believed to have been made by Homo antecessor, the same species thought to have made the footprints, and are the earliest artefacts to have been found in northern Europe.Happisburgh has produced a number of significant archaeological finds over many years.As the shoreline is subject to severe coastal erosion, new material is constantly being exposed along the cliffs and on the beach.

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