Happisburgh's Footprints

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52.82, 1.53
Time periods:
Calabrian, Pleistocene

The Happisburgh footprints were a set of fossilized hominid footprints that date to the early Pleistocene, over 800,000 years ago. They were discovered in May 2013 in a newly uncovered sediment layer of the Cromer Forest Bed on a beach at Happisburgh in Norfolk, England, and carefully photographed in 3D before being destroyed by the tide shortly afterwards.

Research results on the footprints were announced on 7 February 2014, identifying them as the oldest known hominid footprints outside Africa.

Before the Happisburgh discovery, the oldest known footprints in Europe were the Ciampate del Diavolo tracks found at the Roccamonfina volcano in Italy, dated to around 350,000 years ago.

Winning the 2015 'Rescue Dig of the Year' award, the Happisburgh footprint discovery caught the public eye. It was featured in an exhibition in London's Natural History Museum.