Living High

A team of Russian archaeologists has found a site in far northern Siberia that?s all kinds of interesting.

For starters, there?s the age. Radiocarbon dating puts the age at about 30,000 years old. That?s Pleistocene, ice age times. That?s the oldest human occupations north of the Arctic Circle yet found. This is key, because for the first Americans to get here, they had to go up and across the Bering Strait, which is up hard against the Arctic Circle. Before this, the first solid evidence of folks making up there was half that age.

But since this is a story about how folks first got from Asia to the Americas, the second bit is even more interesting. The archaeologists found a worked horn of a wooly rhinoceros that they say ?bears a striking resemblance to Clovis foreshafts from North America?. Clovis culture is one of the first in North America, soon after the ice age slipped off. There?s a lot of arm-waving in archaeology, but this is arm-waving of a pretty interesting variety. This is an inference that those poor frozen sods in northern Siberia can be linked to Clovis culture.

New Scientist has a story, and the original paper is in Science (subscription required I think).

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