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Damage to the trail of the Laetoli footprints.

Damage to the trail of the Laetoli footprints.

E437/0042

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Credit

JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Laetoli trail. Buried 70 metre Trail of hominid footprints originally discovered in 1978 by Mary Leakey's expedition at Laetoli in Tanzania. The trail belongs to Australopithecus afarensis and dates from 3.7 to 3.0 million years ago. In 1978- 79 the trail was buried for protection under layers of sand and plastic sheeting by the Leakey Laetoli Project and came under the jurisdiction of the Tanzanian Department of Antiquities. Over the years the site has fallen into severe disrepair and up to 30%-50% of the trail has been lost. The trail was re-excavated, cleared and reburied in 1993 using a geo-textile material to prevent root damage.

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