Danish Researchers Uncover 5000 Year Old Footprints

Updated: November 15, 2014
Danish Researchers Uncover 5000 Year Old Footprints

Denmark archaeologists have discovered two sets of human footprints dating back 5,000 years. This is the first discovery of its kind in Denmark, and the footprints may reveal the way life was for people on the coast during the Stone Age.

“These prints show the population attempted to save parts of their fishing system before it was flooded and covered in sand,” Anne-Lotte Sjørup Mathiesen of the Museum Lolland-Falster, said to Discovery News.

The footprints were discovered by archaeologists working on the Femern Belt, which will eventually connect the German island of Fehmarn with the Danish island of Lolland

“This is really quite extraordinary, finding footprints from humans,” Terje Stafseth, an archaeologist with the Museum Lolland-Falster, who helped uncover the ancient prints, said in a statement. “Normally, what we find is their rubbish in the form of tools and pottery, but here, we suddenly have a completely different type of trace from the past, footprints left by a human being.”

Stone Age fishing gear was also found among the footprints, alluding to archaeologists that the people were likely trying to save their fishing system (which was used to feed the community) before the sea flooded it.

Based on the size of the footprints, they appear to have came from two different people, Discovery News reported. One set of footprints appears to equate to a women’s size 5 1/2, while the other appears to be a men’s size 9. It’s uncertain if the footprints actually came from a man or a woman.

“Here we have direct imprints from ancient people’s activities, which can be associated with a concrete event – a storm destroying the fixed gillnet on stakes. In order to secure the survival of the population, the fishing system had to be repaired,” Sjørup Mathiesen said to Discovery News.

This is reportedly the first time human footprints were discovered dating from the Danish Stone Age.