by Conny Waters
Stock - anibal
Scientists have found evidence
the first humans
to inhabit the Arctic
40,000 years ago,
at the beginning
of the Late Paleolithic.
The discovery was made by scientists from the Siberian Section of
the Russian Academy of Sciences (СО РАН) conducted
radiocarbon analyses of reindeer antler fragments found at the
Kushevat Paleolithic site in the
Lower Ob region.
In addition to the antler bones, scientists also examined,
a woolly mammoth (Mammuthus
primigenius), a steppe bison (Bison priscus), Elk (Alces alces),
deer (Cervus elephus sibiricus), and, potentially, a musk ox (Ovibos
Analyses of the bones
dated them back to a series of 20 different radiocarbon dates, all
ranging from the period between 20 and 40 thousand years ago.
Although this finding solely points to animals, and not humans,
inhibiting the Arctic region 40,000 years back, the discovery has
now become the basis of further analyses, which currently date human
activity in the Ob region back to 40,000 years ago.
This is because two
reindeer antlers held traces of human activity amongst this group of
bones, which have only recently been analyzed.
The question of the initial settlement of the Arctic and Subarctic
by an ancient man of the modern type (Homo sapiens sapiens) has long
been of interest to scientists. The valley of the Ob River is often
considered a potential migration route for Paleolithic man.
It is believed that modern man came to Europe and Asia 50,000-60,000
thousand years ago.
What is still unclear is,
where the modern man
lived before and how he crossed the Urals?
For a long time, the
hypothesis prevailed that 12,000-30,000 years ago, the north of
Western Siberia was covered by a large glacier (just like the north
of America and Europe).
To the south of this
glacier was a dammed basin reaching 130 meters.
For this reason, it was
believed that looking for archaeological sites dating back to the
period of 30-40 thousand years ago in the north was pointless.
It was confirmed by the
almost complete absence of finds (tools, sites, organic matter).
Fragment of reindeer antler
traces of anthropological impact.
"Archaeology, Ethnography and Anthropology of Eurasia"
49, no. 1 - 2021)
"Thanks to the
international research program using AMS dating and
optical-stimulating luminescence, our colleagues from Europe and
Russia proved that there was no ice cover in the north of
Western Siberia 12,000-30,000 years ago.
It was much earlier:
years ago north of
The level of the
ice-dammed basin in the Ob valley did not exceed 60 meters.
This is an entirely different paleogeographic picture.
For thirty years, I
was convinced that in the north of Western Siberia, there were
all the conditions for the existence of an ancient person.
Now we had the
opportunity to try to prove it:
to find traces of
Homo sapiens in the north of the Ob 30,000-50,000 years
manager, head of the laboratory of the Institute of Geology and
Mineralogy named after V.I. V.S commented in a press statement.
As reported by the
suggests that Homo sapiens and not only Neanderthals inhabited
the Arctic Circle in the Upper Paleolithic age.
About two decades
ago, it was only certain that Neanderthals, and not Homo
sapiens, were occupants in the region during the period.
This was discovered
by radiocarbon dating a set of bones unearthed in 2001 at the
analysis suggested that the Neanderthals had found themselves in
the region approximately 28,500-27,000 years ago.
The new AMS analysis has hence provided two major breakthroughs:
The first one
being that Homo sapiens, as well as Neanderthals, inhabited
the Arctic circle during the Paleolithic Age.
And the second
find being that Homo sapiens lived north of the Arctic
circle already 40,000 years ago."