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Chance to vote for 800,000-year-old Happisburgh footprints in archaeology awards

PUBLISHED: 16:58 15 December 2014 | UPDATED: 10:13 16 December 2014

Some of the oldest human footprints in the world thought to be more than 800,000 years old, found in silt on the beach at Happisburgh on the Norfolk Coast. Photo credit: British Museum/PA Wire

Some of the oldest human footprints in the world thought to be more than 800,000 years old, found in silt on the beach at Happisburgh on the Norfolk Coast. Photo credit: British Museum/PA Wire

The oldest human footprints outside of Africa were discovered in Happisburgh in May last year.

The discovery caused a media storm and tourists flocked to the north Norfolk coast to see if they too could spot something special.

Now the 800,000-year-old find is in the running for the Current Archaeology Awards, in the category for Rescue Excavation of the Year.

The awards celebrate the projects and publications that have featured in the pages of Current Archaeology magazine in the past 12 months, and the people judged to have made an outstanding contribution to archaeology in that year.

The excavation in Happisburgh uncovered tangible traces of some of Britain’s earliest known human inhabitants.

The footprints were found heading south along the bank of what was the River Thames – which ran through Norfolk and out to sea at Happisburgh, before the Ice Age pushed the river further south.

The wet riverbank made it possible for the footsteps to be preserved before being quickly covered over with silt. The impressions then gradually became semi-fossilised, their movements frozen for discovery more than 800,000 years later.

The results will be announced at an evening reception hosted by Meet the Ancestors’ Julian Richards, on February 27 at the University of London’s Senate House.

To vote for the dig visit www.archaeology.co.uk/vote

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