This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for March 13, 2017: The Presence

Mar. 13, 2017: on this day: Nature reports the discovery of 350,000-year-old fossilized human footprints

On this date in 2003, the journal Nature reported the discovery of 350,000-year-old fossilized human footprints in Italy. They are arguably the oldest known human footprints; an older set, dating back three and a half million years, was discovered in Tanzania in 1979, but they probably belonged to hominids not directly related to our species, Homo sapiens.

The Italian footprints reported in Nature are about eight inches long and four inches wide, and their makers were probably no taller than five feet.