Intertidal Archaeology

Daniel Wrench (
Mon, 25 Nov 1996 12:07:49 -0800

Message posted on behalf of Gordon Roberts (appologies if this is double

Erosion at Formby Point (on the Sefton Coast, Northwest England) is
exposing strata of Holocene sediment, deposited between c. 5000 and 3500
years B.P. Within some of these laminated silts, the sun-hardened
footprints of animals (aurochs, red deer, roe deer, unshod horses,
canidae), birds (cranes, herons, oystercatchers, gulls) and humans (men,
women, and children) have been preserved. To date, 154 human footprint
trails have been recorded and analysed. The exposures are ephemeral.
Once uncovered, these ancient mudflats and their imprint-bearing strata
are destroyed by subsequent tides and longshore currents. Such open,
archaeological sites are rare. Other locations of human and/or animal
prints in Holocene environments are known to include the Severn Estuary
and Jersey (Channel Islands) in the U.K., and the Pampean Coast of
Argentines. The author of this report would welcome receiving
information regarding similar sites worldwide.

Please contact Gordon Roberts at this e-mail address or directly at his
home address of: 100 Harington Road, Formby, nr. Liverpool, L37 1PZ,
For further information regarding the Sefton Coast try