Remains of mammoth hunted 45,000 years ago reveal earliest known evidence of humans in Arctic
Remains of mammoth hunted 45,000 years ago reveal earliest known evidence

The remnants of a mammoth that was knocked down nearly 45,000 years back have revealed the earliest known proof of human beings in the Arctic.

Discovered in far northern Russia, marks on the bones have indicated that the creature was butchered and stabbed. The way the tip of a tusk was spoiled suggested some human activity, probably to create ivory tools.

The estimated age of 45,000 years or more of the discovery has extended the record of human presence in the Arctic by more than nearly 5,000 years.

In a paper released previous week by the journal Science, Vladimir Pitulko of the Russian Academy of Science in St. Petersburg and co-authors reported that before 40,000 years ago, the area in Siberia, near the Kara Sea, was also by far the northernmost sign of human presence in Eurasia.

The researchers also briefly reported human hunting proof at nearly the same time from a wolf bone discovered well to the east. They mentioned that the evidence suggests an extensive occupation, though the population was likely sparse.

The University of Michigan’s mammoth expert, Daniel Fisher, who wasn’t a part of the study, said that the markings on the mammoth bone are firm indicators of human hunting. John Hoffecker of the University of Colorado at Boulder commented in an email that it can be concluded that the hunters belonged to our own species, and weren’t from Neanderthals.

However, an archaeologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, Robert Park, who has researched on the bones of hunted animals in the far north, has called the proof for human hunting ‘pretty marginal’.

He said that the beast was discovered with leftovers of its fat hump, while hunters would be likely to take the fat for food and fuel. He added that the skeleton has shown much less butchering than expected.

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