Prehistoric Footprints Under The Sand



Retired teacher Gordon Roberts describes some unusual trails of footprints he discovered on the beach at Formby. When Gordon Roberts noticed some unusual trails of footprints on an exposed patch of silt on the beach his curiosity was aroused. He began to take notes, then pictures, then plaster casts and careful measurements. Soon he found that the prints were thousands of years old. With the help of his wife and plaster-caster Pat, retired archaeological chiropodist Phyllis Jackson, and academic specialists in prehistory, he has recorded the tracks of deer, extinct wild cattle, large birds, and people in particular, children. But these aren't rock-hard fossils. They were baked into the silt and covered with sand and later deposits which have protected them ever since. Now erosion is uncovering these ancient silts, but what the sea reveals it also destroys the footprints last only until the next high tide or a few weeks at most once exposed. A group of present-day school-children join Gordon on the beach to compare their own footprints walking, running, playing with those of their 5,000 year old ancestors. A clue perhaps to a riddle that still puzzles him what were those children doing on the beach in the baking sun five thousand years ago?