Holocene human footprints in North America

P. Willey, Patty Jo Watson, George Crothers, Judy Stolen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Reports of human footprints from North American archaeological sites are summarized and described. Although some human footprints have been claimed to be of Pleistocene and earlier ages, the earliest authenticated prints in America north of Mexico, as distinct from Central or South America, date to the Holocene. The earliest of these prints is at least 5,070 years old, and the youngest are late prehistoric period, only about 400 years old. Footprint sites are reported in the U.S. Southeast, Southwest, and California. Activities indicated by ancient North American human footprints include the mundane, such as daily tasks in a riparian zone and domestic behaviors inside a habitation. Footprints were also left by prehistoric peoples undertaking more esoteric activities deep in cave interiors, including exploration, mineral extraction, and ritual.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalIchnos:an International Journal of Plant and Animal
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2008


  • Native Americans
  • North America
  • Prehistoric human footprints

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Paleontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Holocene human footprints in North America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this