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Stone tools uncovered in Mongolia by an international team of archaeologists indicate that modern humans traveled across the Eurasian steppe about 45,000 years ago, according to a new University of California, Davis, study. The date is about 10,000 years earlier than archaeologists previously believed.
The site also points to a new location for where modern humans may have first encountered their mysterious cousins, the now extinct Denisovans, said Nicolas Zwyns, an associate professor of anthropology and lead author of the study.
“Although we don’t know yet where the meeting happened, it seems that the Denisovans passed along genes that will later help Homo sapiens settling down in high altitude and to survive hypoxia on the Tibetan Plateau,” Zwyns said. “From this point of view, the site of Tolbor-16 is an important archaeological link connecting Siberia with Northwest China on a route where Homo sapiens had multiple possibilities to meet local populations such as the Denisovans.”
Although models for H. sapiens’ early dispersals out of Africa emphasize a southern route to Asia1–5, Neanderthal and Modern Human (MH) fossils in Siberia6–9 suggest that at least two other dispersals took place across the Eurasian steppe north of the Asian high mountains. Given the size of the area considered, human fossils are few but recent studies have suggested that a major change in the regional archaeological record could be indicative of a large-scale human dispersal event. Known as the Initial Upper Palaeolithic (IUP), it refers to the sudden appearance in contiguous regions of a specific blade technology sometimes associated with bone tools and orna-ments10–17. How old these assemblages are, and how long the phenomenon lasts are still controversial questions, and little is known about the timing and environmental context of these population movements. Here we present
originally posted by: jjkenobi
Very interesting to say it was much warmer back then. Too much carbon?