Age of Mexican ash with alleged 'footprints'

Renne, P. R. and Feinberg, J. M. and Waters, M. R. and Arroyo-Cabrales, J. and Ochoa-Castillo, P. and Perez-Campa, M. and Knight, K. B. (2005) Age of Mexican ash with alleged 'footprints'. Nature, 438 (7068). E7-E8. ISSN 0028-0836 DOI 10.1038/news050704-4 (2005)

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Abstract

A report of human footprints preserved in 40,000-year-old volcanic ash near Puebla, Mexico (http://www.royalsoc.ac.uk/exhibit.asp?id=3616&tip=1), was the subject of a press conference that stirred international media attention1. If the claims (http://www.mexicanfootprints.co.uk) of Gonzalez et al. are valid, prevailing theories about the timing of human migration into the Americas would need significant revision. Here we show by 40Ar/39Ar dating and corroborating palaeomagnetic data that the basaltic tuff on which the purported footprints are found is 1.30plusminus0.03 million years old. We conclude that either hominid migration into the Americas occurred very much earlier than previously believed, or that the features in question were not made by humans on recently erupted ash.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: NIL AREP 2005 P
Subjects: 99 - Other
05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Divisions: 99 - Other
05 - Petrology - Igneous, Metamorphic and Volcanic Studies
Journal or Publication Title: Nature
Volume: 438
Page Range: E7-E8
Identification Number: 10.1038/news050704-4 (2005)
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2010 11:10
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:59
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1794

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