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  Scientists find 300,000 year old footprints
Updated 12 March 2003, 19.48

Scientists have found some footprints left by the people who came before humans - and reckon they're the oldest ones ever.


The footprints were made by people called Paleolithic humans, who were the final stage before us in evolution.

The footprints were found in the side of a volcano, and the scientists think the three people who left them may have been escaping an eruption!

From the position of the prints it looks like the people were scrambling down the side of the volcano using their hands to help them.

Their prints were preserved when ash from the volcano fell onto them, keeping them in one piece until now, between 325,000 and 385,000 years later.

People living near the volcano in Italy call the tracks Devil's Trails, because they thought they were made by something not of this world.

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