By Robert D’Emilio Jr.

Dr. David Webb Photo courtesy of University Relations
Dr. David Webb
Photo courtesy of University Relations

Dr. David Webb, professor at Kutztown University, traveled to Romania in search of ancient footprints found in the Ciur-Izbuc Cave in the Carpathian Mountains.

When Webb was asked of his research, he said, “Our plan was to learn as much as we could about the people who left the original footprints and expand on the findings of the original researchers,” he said. “With so few footprints left, we couldn’t do some of the things we wanted to – such as measure the length of the strides. Tourists have removed some of the identifying flags, and some footprints may have dried up. Others have modern boot prints on top of them. We might never know what happened to them.”

During Webb’s research, two bones that were excavated below the footprints were put through a series of radiocarbon measurements. The outcome showed that those bones came from homo-sapiens. Webb was able to discover that those footpaths were created around 36,500 years ago, possibly making these prints the earliest humans in Europe.

Because of Webb’s findings, he became well-known among international news outlets, who are now trying to hear about more information of his research and photographs of the cave. The main journal in Webb’s field, the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, placed his original article in one of their publications this past summer.

Prior to his findings, he acknowledged 200 out of the 400 footprints in the chamber were in respectable condition. In the summer of 2012, Webb disappointingly found that there were only 51 in existence left in the cave.

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