Ancient humans may have worn shoes more than 100,000 years ago

Possible ancient footprints at Goukamma in South Africa

Charles Helm

Humans may have been wearing shoes for well over 100,000 years, and other hominins like Neanderthals may also have worn footwear. The suggestion stems from the discovery of unusual preserved footprints in South Africa, which may have been made by people wearing sandals.

“We’re not claiming we have conclusive evidence of this,” says Charles Helm at Nelson Mandela University in Gqeberha, South Africa. Instead, Helm and his colleagues want to figure out how to reliably distinguish footprints left by bare …

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