Ancient Humans in Siberia & Arctic.

MrRING

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#1
Traces of Ancient Hunters Found in Siberia
By PAUL RECER, AP Science Writer

WASHINGTON - A people who may have been ancestors of the first Americans lived in Arctic Siberia, enduring one of the most unforgiving environments on Earth at the height of the Ice Age, according to researchers who discovered the oldest evidence yet of humans living near the frigid gateway to the New World.

Russian scientists uncovered a 30,000-year-old site where ancient hunters lived on the Yana River in Siberia, some 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle and not far from the Bering land bridge that then connected Asia with North America.

"Although a direct connection remains tenuous, the Yana ... site indicates that humans extended deep into the Arctic during colder (Ice Age) times," the authors wrote in a study appearing this week in the journal Science.

The researchers found stone tools, ivory weapons and the butchered bones of mammoths, bison, bear, lion and hare, all animals that would have been available to hunters during that Ice Age period.

Using a dating technique that measures the ratios of carbon, the researchers determined the artifacts were deposited at the site about 30,000 years before the present. That would be about twice as old as Monte Verde in Chile, the most ancient human life known in the American continents.

Donald K. Grayson, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, said the discovery is very significant because it is so much earlier than any other proven evidence of people living in the frigid lands of Siberia that formed the gateway to the Americas.

"Until this site was reported, the earliest site in Bering land bridge area was dated at about 11,000 years ago," said Grayson. "Every other site that had been thought to have been early enough to have something to do with peopling of the New World has been shown not to be so."

At the time of the Yana occupation, much of the high latitudes on the Earth were in the grip of an ice age that sent glaciers creeping over much of what is now Europe, Canada and the northern United States.

But the Yana River area was ice free, a dry flood plain without glaciers. It was home to mammoth, horse, musk ox and other animals that provided food for the human hunters who braved Arctic blasts to live there. "Abundant game means lots of food," Julie Brigham-Grette of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said in Science. "It was not stark tundra as one might imagine."

Among the artifacts found at the Yana site were weapons that resembled some found at a Clovis, N.M. site dated around 11,000 years old. But Grayson and others said the evidence is weak linking those implements to the tool and weapon techniques used by the Clovis people. Similar artifacts have also been found in Europe and western Asia, Grayson said.

"The similarities (in the tools and weapons) are not enough to prove they were ancestral to the Clovis people in the New World," said Grayson.

Some experts, however, still hold out hope that the new discovery provides important new clues about the ancient migration from Asia to the Americas. Finding evidence of human habitation at the Yana site "makes it plausible that the first peopling of the Americas occurred prior to the last glacial maximum," Daniel Mann of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, said in Science. The last glacial maximum was 20,000 to 25,000 years ago.

Grayson and others, however, said more evidence is needed before it becomes widely accepted that it was people from the Yana site who migrated to the New World.

The major problem, said Grayson, is that archaeological evidence for human dwellings in Siberia is still very sparse. Also, there is a gap of thousands of years between the 30,000-year-old Yana site and other sites in Asia and the Americas.

There was no physical barrier to going to the Americas from Asia during that period. The Bering land bridge connected the two continents until about 11,000 years ago, when a rising sea level flooded the connection and created what is now called the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska.

"Getting people across to the New World was not the problem," said Grayson. "The problem was getting people into that part of the world so they could cross." And the evidence that this happened from the Yana site, he said, is still unpersuasive.


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=9&u=/ap/20040101/ap_on_sc/ice_age_hunters_3
 

Dennis_De_Bacle

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#2
Not so much 'Ancient Americans in Siberia' as 'Just about to become Ancient Americans whilst still Ancient Siberians.'
I'm glad to see that more scientists are taking seriously the idea that man got to America prior to Clovis.
 
A

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I'm afraid no scientific evidence is going to convince Natives in Canada who have an official "First Nations" status (the rest are second, third, and so on - in fishery rights, construction projects, etc.) that they weren't first - a very convenient policy in terms of taxes, loans, benefits, etc.
 

Mighty_Emperor

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#4
This isn't too big a suprise as 3-40,000 year old sites are known in Siberia but mainly from the Altai (the most famous is Kara Bom). Also as they say in the article it is a bit of a reach to call them ancient Americans - there appear to be no links that can be seen. Its a bit like finding something in Morocco and claiming they are ancient Spaniards. Clearly hooking it into the controversy of the timing of occupation of America gets good pres and can help secure more funds but it is much more interesting in the context of early occupation of northern latitudes as we still don't really have a good understanding of that yet.

Emps
 

PeniG

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#5
What bugs me is that newspapers are still toeing the old Bering Land Bridge party line, when archeologists have been increasingly getting away from it. Since Tim Dillehay demonstrated the antiquity of Monte Verde to most people's satisfaction, and since it is fantastically unlikely for humans to walk from Canada to Chile in the time available between the Monte Verde dates and the opening of the "ice free corridor," and since the "ice free corridor" has never turned up a single appropriate artifact, and since Australians had boats with which to colonize Australia many thousands of years prior to even the most liberal dates for humans approaching Beringia, and since promising sites have been found on islands off the northwest coasts of Canada and the U.S. - for all these reasons, the old minority opinion that a maritime culture made it into the Americas first has moved from the fringes to center stage. (*Lost World* by Tom Koppel can give you a pre-digested version of all this.) There seems to be severe cognitive lag on this, getting the word from the scientists to the general public.

As for "first nation" status, etc., that's all politics. We do not know what the first Americans looked like and the evidence of who their descendents are will continue to be very dicey indeed for a long time to come; but the only thing that should matter politically is, who beat modern Europeans - and the tribes are all covered on that score! When archeologists are tactful and involve the local tribes in their discoveries, and the local tribal leaders are reasonable, the work gets done, but it only takes one jerk in either camp to throw things off - or one officious government agency stepping in at the beginning of a disagreement and turning it into a war. Fiascos like Kennewick are the exception, not the rule, even in the rare cases when human remains are found; and they will become even rarer as more people of "Indian" descent move into the previously white-dominated social sciences such as archeology and forensic anthropology.
 

stu neville

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Gloria X said:
I'm afraid no scientific evidence is going to convince Natives in Canada who have an official "First Nations" status (the rest are second, third, and so on - in fishery rights, construction projects, etc.) that they weren't first - a very convenient policy in terms of taxes, loans, benefits, etc.
For whom?
 
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#7
Grisly find suggests humans inhabited Arctic 45,000 years ago
Jan. 14, 2016

In August of 2012, an 11-year-old boy made a gruesome discovery in a frozen bluff overlooking the Arctic Ocean. While exploring the foggy coast of Yenisei Bay, about 2000 kilometers south of the North Pole, he came upon the leg bones of a woolly mammoth eroding out of frozen sediments. Scientists excavating the well-preserved creature determined that it had been killed by humans: Its eye sockets, ribs, and jaw had been battered, apparently by spears, and one spear-point had left a dent in its cheekbone—perhaps a missed blow aimed at the base of its trunk.

When they dated the remains, the researchers got another surprise: The mammoth died 45,000 years ago. That means that humans lived in the Arctic more than 10,000 years earlier than scientists believed, according to a new study. The find suggests that even at this early stage, humans were traversing the most frigid parts of the globe and had the adaptive ability to migrate almost everywhere.

Most researchers had long thought that big-game hunters, who left a trail of stone tools around the Arctic 12,500 years ago, were the first to reach the Arctic Circle. These cold-adapted hunters apparently traversed Siberia and the Bering Straits at least 15,000 years ago (and new dates suggest humans may have been in the Americas as early as 18,500 years ago).

But in 2004, researchers pushed that date further back in time when they discovered beads and stone and bone tools dated to as much as 35,000 years old at several sites in the Ural Mountains of far northeastern Europe and in northern Siberia; they also found the butchered carcasses of woolly mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, reindeer, and other animals.

The Russian boy’s discovery—of the best-preserved mammoth found in a century—pushes back those dates by another 10,000 years. A team led by archaeologist Alexei Tikhonov excavated the mammoth and dubbed it “Zhenya,” for the child, Evgeniy Solinder, whose nickname was Zhenya. ...

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016...edium=twitter&utm_campaign=mammotharctic-1919
 
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#8
Interesting new findings, a culture that may have died out 23,000 years ago.

Closest-known ancestor of today’s Native Americans found in Siberia
By Michael PriceJun. 5, 2019 , 1:00 PM

Indigenous Americans, who include Alaska Natives, Canadian First Nations, and Native Americans, descend from humans who crossed an ancient land bridge connecting Siberia in Russia to Alaska tens of thousands of years ago. But scientists are unclear when and where these early migrants moved from place to place. Two new studies shed light on this mystery and uncover the most closely related Native American ancestor outside North America.

In the first study, researchers led by Eske Willerslev, a geneticist at the University of Copenhagen, sequenced the whole genomes of 34 individuals who lived in Siberia, the land bridge Beringia, and Alaska from 600 to nearly 32,000 years ago. The oldest individuals in the sample—two men who lived in far northern Siberia—represent the earliest known humans from that part of the world. There are no direct genetic traces of these men in any of the other groups the team surveyed, suggesting their culture likely died out about 23,000 years ago when the region became too cold to be inhabitable.

Elsewhere on the Eurasian continent, however, a group arose that would eventually move into Siberia, splinter, and cross Beringia into North America, the DNA analysis reveals. A woman known as Kolyma1, who lived in northeastern Siberia about 10,000 years ago, shares about two-thirds of her genome with living Native Americans. “It’s the closest we have ever gotten to a Native American ancestor outside the Americas,” Willerslev says. Still, notes Ben Potter, an archaeologist at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks who was not involved with the work, the relation is nevertheless distant.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/201...ly_2019-06-05&et_rid=394299689&et_cid=2848575
 
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