The British Museum, the Natural History Museum in London and the Queen Mary University of London led a team of scientists that uncovered footprints more than 800,000 years old. The footprints, left in mud in Norfolk, which lies on the east coast of England, are evidence of the earliest northern European humans.
The footprints were discovered during the low tide in May 2013 when two scientists stumbled across them. Scientists were able to record and scan the footprints before the sea washed them away.
After a detailed two-week analysis of the footprints, researchers at John Moores University finally confirmed that the hollows were indeed human footprints of five different people. One set of prints belonged to a male and the others to some children.
The largest set of prints were a Size 9, which puts the male at 5 feet, 9 inches tall. The shortest child was estimated to be at about 3 feet tall.
Some researchers are suggesting the prints belonged to a species called Homo antecessor, which was known to have lived in southern Europe and disappeared approximately 800,000 years ago. This time period matches the footprints that predate the Homo heidelbergensis species, which were found to have lived in the United Kingdom 500,000 years ago. However, there is nothing more than growing circumstantial evidence to back up this claim.
The uncovering of stone tools in 2010 and the footprints in Happisburgh, Norfolk, confirms there were humans in the United Kingdom almost a million years ago.
Information compiled from Sciencedaily.com and BBC.co.uk.