The study has been published in the journal PLOS ONE.Researchers engaged the help of three Indigenous tracking experts named Tsamgao Ciqae, /Ui Kxunta, and Thui Thao .
When presented with 513 engravings of animal prints in rock art from the Later Stone Age, the experts identified 345 quadrupeds and 62 bird tracks.
Similar to the animal prints, the human tracks were predominantly non-adult.
Overall, 74 of the humans depicted in the rock art were identified as male with 32 were female.
This finding is particularly striking when one considers that up to 80 percent of human figures that appear in ancient rock art in central Namibia are zero-marked, meaning they have no specific sex or age.
The study authors suggest that these footprints were probably “endowed with complex meanings.”
However, after proposing and then rejecting a number of different hypotheses, the researchers are unable to determine exactly what purpose these remarkable carvings might