Ciencia

Ancient people conquered the Arctic at least 45000 years ago

Ancient people conquered the Arctic at least 45000 years ago

Radio-carbon dating of the bones showed that the mammoth died about 45,000 years ago.

Cuts and scrapes on the mammoth's bones came from human hunting weapons. In fact, it's likely the injuries were from sharp weapon tips such as thrusting spears.

Discovered in Siberia in 2012, the mammoth was observed by a team of scientists at the Russian Academy of Sciences led by archaeologist Vladimir Pitulko, who determined that particular lesions and marks found on the remains, including the head, tusks and ribcage, appear to be made by handcrafted tools.

The findings leave no doubt that people were present in the central Siberian Arctic by 45,000 years ago. This, in turn, represents an important cultural shift that likely facilitated the arrival of humans in the area close to the Bering land bridge, providing them an opportunity to enter the New World before the Last Glacial Maximum. That's a huge latitudinal difference between the old human habitation sites south of the Arctic Circle and the new mammoth find well north of it - about 1,700 kilometers, he says.

"Indeed, these animals provide an endless source of different goods: food with meat, fat and marrow; fuel with dung, fat and bones; and raw material with long bones and ivory", Dr Pitulko said. The scientists excavated the frozen carcass of a male woolly mammoth in the central Siberian Arctic.

There was also damage to the right tusk that may have been caused by people chopping at it after the mammoth was killed.

After analysing the mammoth, Scientists said 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.

"The main part of it is that the mammoth was really killed by humans, and evidence for that is unbeatable", Dr Pitulko said.