Rock Art and Footprints Reveal How Ancient Humans Responded to Volcanic Eruption

Promoting women’s leadership in Disaster Risk Reduction and resilience

The need for women’s leadership and gender-responsive Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and resilience-building were at the centre of the sessions recently organized by UN Women in the context of the World Reconstruction Conference 4 (WRC4), on 13-14 May, and the 2019 Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (GP), on 15-17 May, in Geneva.

Due to the gendered dimensions of disaster risk, women and girls face greater vulnerability and exposure to disasters. Women’s actual and potential contributions to DRR, including their leadership as first responders and their central role in community resilience, continue to be largely untapped assets in DRR, resilience, recovery and reconstruction strategies. Evidence has proven that harnessing women’s leadership, experience and knowledge into these efforts yields more effective initiatives. The events brought together representatives of United Nations Member States, international organizations, private sector actors, academia and civil society to advance this agenda…


Rock Art and Footprints Reveal How Ancient Humans Responded to Volcanic Eruption

rock art
“I think that people excited by the noise of the first hydrovolcanic eruption then started to approach the eruption site,” Ulusoy tells Live Science

Thousands of years ago, hominins living in what is now western Turkey witnessed the eruption of the Çakallar volcano. Intrigued by the spectacular sight, walking stick-wielding locals and their canine companions ventured closer, leaving a trail of footprints in the wet ash blanketing the ground. Eventually, built-up volcanic rock buried the tracks, shielding them until 1968, when the rediscovery of the “Kula footprints” led a Turkish paleontologist to initially conclude that they’d been left by Neanderthals some 250,000 years ago.

Now, a new study published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews updates the evolving consensus on the footprints’ origins, suggesting that humans left the tracks 4,700 years ago and may have even created a cave painting inspired by the volcanic activity they’d witnessed. Researchers led by İnan Ulusoy, a geological engineer at Turkey’s Hacettepe University, used two independent rock dating methods to better pinpoint the preserved tracks’ age. Their findings stand in contrast to the initial 1968 understanding of the Kula footprints’ age and timestamp the tracks 5,000 years later than the most recent estimate in 2016…

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