Greater Ancestors

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Rock Castle County – Berea Tracks


In 1885, Professor J.F. Brown of Berea College, Kentucky was called upon to examine a puzzling find, made 16 miles east of the town of Berea, on Big Hill in Rock Castle County, one of the spurs of the Cumberland Plateau. Near the summit, an old wagon trail cut through a stratum of carboniferous limestone, and removal of earth to widen the trail into a road had exposed a new section of this stratum. As E.A. Allen reported in the American Antiquarian, volume 7, page 39, preserved in the layer were the fossilized impressions of several creatures. What mystified those who witnessed the remains was that among these tracks were two well-preserved prints of a human being. They were described as “good-sized, toes well spread, and very distinctly marked.” It was not until 1930 that further and more detailed investigations were performed, this time by Dr. Wilbur Greely Burroughs, head of the geology department at Berea College. Dr. Burroughs discovered a total of twelve 9 1/2-inch man tracks and portions of others, and confirmed that they had indeed been impressed upon gray Pottsville sandstone dating from the Upper Pennsylvanian period -well over 300 million years old.

The discovery of fossilized impressions of several creatures, including human-like prints, in Rock Castle County, Kentucky is a fascinating find that has puzzled scientists and researchers for over a century. The thoroughness of measurements and investigations, carried out by professionals such as Professor J.F. Brown and Dr. Wilbur Greely Burroughs, provides us with reliable and credible first-hand eyewitness accounts of the discovery.

One interesting aspect of this discovery is the frequency of above-average height in the prints, which raises questions about the size of human beings in the distant past. While some may speculate that these prints were left by giants, others argue that the prints may have been made by our ancestors, who may have been taller than modern humans due to different environmental factors.

This find is significant as it challenges our understanding of the history of human beings and the world we live in. It raises important questions about our origins and the evolution of life on Earth. As we continue to make discoveries like this, it is important that we remain open-minded and continue to rigorously investigate and analyze these finds. Only then can we gain a deeper understanding of our past and where we are headed in the future.


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