Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Giant Prints. Carson, Nevada



The Foot-Prints of a Mastodon and of
a Human Reing Relieved to be Imprinted
in the Same Rock.
From the San Francieco (Cal.) Call, Auk. 4.
The discovery of tracks In the quarry at the
state prison at Carson, Nev., created quite a
flutter among the local scientists, and brought
up several eminent gentlemen from California to
examine them critically. Dr. Harkness brought
materials for taking photographs and also traces
ot them on canvas showing their direction and
mutual relations. They will be poured full of
plaster-of-paris and exact casts made of them.
Professor Le Conte, of the State University of
California, spent some time in examining the
tracks, and he informs the Reno Gazette
that while they are very interesting they
teach nothing new. There are the tracks of the
mammoth and another track which he thinks is
that of a man. He says some persons are entirely
convinced that they are human, but lie is
more cautious. While he believes them to be
so, still there are doubts. The track is so large,
being nearly 20 inches, that it seems impossible
that any human being ever lived with a loot
capable of making such an imprint. If it was a
foot it was wrapped up in something soft and
pliable, or wore a sandal of some sort. The
peculiar outline of the human foot is distinct.
The curved outside, the heel bending inward,
the broad ball and wide front, with the inward
curve at the hollow on the inside of the foot, are
still there. The professor says he looked carefully
to see if it could be the footprint of a bear
or some animal, but found no marks of claws
or toes, which would be a part of a bear track.
He tried to imagine an animal which stepped
with his hind foot into the tracks of his fore
foot and made such an impression, but he found
nothing to indicate it. Being asked if it might
be a foot wrapped in bark or skins as a defense
a<_rafhst cold, he thought not, because if it was
cold the mud would be frozen and there would
have been no Impression. It could hardly be
that the foot was wrapped to keep the body
from pressing; it into the mud, as snow shoes
are worn, for then the outline of the foot would
not be preserved. On the whole the human
track Is a puzzle. One thing remarkable about
it is the distance between the lines of the tracks
made by the right anil left foot, (the straddle,)
which Is about eighteen inches. The length of
the stride is that of a common man being less
than three feet, but tjie size of the foot and the
distance between them were those of a giant.
It will be considered carefully by men of science,
and no doubt more light will come. The
track ot the maram<rth is about such a one as
would be made by tine one in Prof. Ward’s col.
lection now on exhibition in San Francisco.
The professor thinks, the prints were probably
made in the soft niud on the bank, perhaps
near the mouth of 5a river, and soon after a
spring flood came down and spread a layer of
sand on them, which was followed in years by
the large deposit which became the rock now
seen there. The professor assigns the tracks to
a period at least ks far back as the glacial
epoch, and thinks perhaps they belong to the
pliocene. There seems to be no great significance
in the fact of finding human tracks Of
they are human) with those of the mammoth,
because it has been long Itnown that man appeared
on earth before the mammoth became
extinct. Still, the discovery is very interesting
to scienoe, aod may lead to important results.;O=A

Evening star., August 26, 1882, Page 2, Image 2



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