Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

The ice man cameth early

Expand Messages
  • Ian Pitchford
    Nature Science Update The ice man cameth early Early mammoth hunters braved the Arctic. 4 September 2001 HELEN PEARSON Our hardy ancestors survived north of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Nature Science Update
      The ice man cameth early
      Early mammoth hunters braved the Arctic.
      4 September 2001
      HELEN PEARSON

      Our hardy ancestors survived north of the Arctic Circle as far back as the last
      ice age, unearthed tools now reveal. The mammoth hunters braved sub-zero
      temperatures on desolate tundra at least 20,000 years earlier than was thought,
      the remains suggest, although whether the people were Neanderthals or modern
      humans is a mystery.

      The artefacts, dug up in an Arctic riverbed, show that humans once lived as far
      north as Siberia and Alaska, say archaeologist John Svendsen, of the University
      of Bergen in Norway, and his team1. The stone tools, horse and reindeer bones
      and a mammoth tusk with hand-made markings, were found at Mamontovaya Kurya in
      European Russia.

      Radiocarbon dating puts the finds between 35,000 and 40,000 years old.
      Previously, humans were thought to have colonized this northern region in the
      last stages of the ice age only some 13,000 years ago.

      The 40,000-year date "marks a turning point in the history of human evolution
      in Europe," says Svendsen's team. Around that time, roaming Neanderthals are
      thought to have given way to anatomically modern humans migrating northwards
      out of Africa and into Europe. The new haul does not reveal the identity of the
      Arctic dwellers to be either Neanderthal or modern.

      Full text:
      http://www.nature.com/nsu/010906/010906-11.html

      Pavolov, P., Svendsen, J. I. & Indrelid, S.Human presence in the European
      Arctic nearly 40,000 years ago. Nature, 413, 64 - 67, (2001).
      http://www.nature.com/
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.