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Neanderthals may have climbed an active volcano soon after it erupted


Scientist

Neanderthals may have climbed an active volcano soon after it erupted

By Michael Marshall Walking into danger?MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYA set of preserved footprints suggests that ancient humans often went scrambling on the steep slopes of an active volcano, even in the aftermath of a major eruption. The volcano may have been an important site for them. The identity of the hominins isn’t certain,…

Neanderthals may have climbed an active volcano soon after it erupted

By Michael Marshall

fossil footprints

Walking into danger?

MAURO FERMARIELLO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A set of preserved footprints suggests that ancient humans often went scrambling on the steep slopes of an active volcano, even in the aftermath of a major eruption. The volcano may have been an important site for them.

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The identity of the hominins isn’t certain, but they may have been Neanderthals.

The footprints can be found on the Roccamonfina volcano in southern Italy, which has been extinct for 50,000 years. Local people called them “devil’s trails”, because only a supernatural being could walk such a dangerous path.

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