Africa’s large mammal heritage has formed a deep cultural legacy for all of humankind.
If we go far enough back in time, we all share an ancestor. And some of the features found in our bones and bodies today are a testament to that.
Without intervention, the rock may have been destroyed by high tides and storm surges.
Human tracks registered in aeolianites - cemented dune surfaces - are rare at a global level.
Studying the lower back allows researchers to understand how the species’ anatomy was adapted for different kinds of movement.
The fossil material was recovered from the surface of a tight, narrow passage that can only be accessed with difficulty by one person at a time.
Knowing that our North African ancestors were making handaxes helps scientists to understand how our human ancestors spread across the African continent.
It appears that the South African Cape south coast’s dunes and beaches formed a vast canvas of sand on which our ancestors could leave their mark.
These surfaces are of profound scientific, cultural, heritage, environmental, and aesthetic importance. Unfortunately, they are threatened - by graffiti.
A remarkable set of discoveries has confirmed that parts of Stonehenge first stood 140 miles away at Waun Mawn, west Wales.
These ancient surfaces, which often preserve the tracks in remarkable detail, are now amenable to inspection and interpretation.
Before 200,000 years ago, close to the origin of our species, people preferred the use of broad-leaved grasses to build their beds and resting areas using ash layers underneath.
The artefact comes from deposits dated to more than 60,000 years ago. It closely resembles thousands of bone arrowheads used by the indigenous San hunter-gatherers from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
This is a hugely important find. It means that one of our earlier ancestors possibly originated in southern Africa.
The findings suggest that this specimen could climb and move in trees. But it may also have been able to walk on the ground. This echoes previous studies.
Given that we know humans moved across these landscapes, we wondered whether there might also be evidence of other forms of human activity on these surfaces of sand.
There’s almost no place on earth that doesn’t hold traces of humanity. But which routes did our ancestors follow first?
Researchers can more easily compare heated rocks from different studies and areas.
Thanks to hundreds of fossil remains found in Africa studies can explore new scenarios about how our ancestors lived and evolved.
Five major finds this year adds to our understanding of evolution and ancient life history.