Bones of mammoth suggest humans in Arctic 45,000 years ago: researcher

NEW YORK -- The remains of a mammoth that was hunted down about 45,000 years ago have revealed the earliest known evidence of humans in the Arctic.

See Full Article

Marks on the bones, found in far northern Russia, indicate the creature was stabbed and butchered. The tip of a tusk was damaged in a way that suggests human activity, perhaps to make ivory tools.

With a minimal age estimate of 45,000 years, the discovery extends the record of human presence in the Arctic by at least about 5,000 years.

The site in Siberia, near the Kara Sea, is also by far the northernmost sign of human presence in Eurasia before 40,000 years ago, Vladimir Pitulko of the Russian Academy of Science in St. Petersburg and co-authors reported in a paper released Thursday by the journal Science.

They also briefly report evidence of human hunting at about the same time from a wolf bone found well to the east. That suggests a widespread occupation, although the population was probably sparse, they said.

Daniel Fisher, a mammoth expert at the University of Michigan who did not participate in the study, said the markings on the mammoth bone strongly indicate human hunting. It makes sense to conclude that the hunters were from our own species rather than Neanderthals, John Hoffecker of the University of Colorado at Boulder commented in an email.

But Robert Park, an archaeologist at the University of Waterloo in Canada who has studied the bones of hunted animals in the far north, called the evidence for human hunting "pretty marginal." The beast had been found with remains of its fat hump, while hunters would be expected to take the fat for food and fuel, he said. And the skeleton shows far less butchering than one would expect, he said.

Park emphasized he's not ruling out the idea that the mammoth was hunted.

If people were living this far north that long ago, he said, it implies they had not only the technical abilities to carry out mammoth hunts, but also a social organization complex enough to share the food from the relatively rare kills.


Latest Tech & Science News

  • Facebook removes breast cancer video, citing 'inappropriate' content

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Facebook is under fire for removing a cartoon breast cancer awareness video due to “inappropriate” content. The video, posted by the Swedish Cancer Society, demonstrated how to perform a self-breast exam with round pink circles mimicking breasts. Source
  • Cincinnati Zoo rejoins Twitter following Harambe controversy

    Tech & Science CTV News
    In this May 30, 2016 file photo, Alesia Buttrey, of Cincinnati, holds a sign with a picture of the gorilla Harambe during a vigil in his honour outside the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) Source
  • U.S. internet disrupted as key firm gets hit by cyberattack

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LONDON -- There have been reports of internet disruption across the East Coast of the United States after a key firm was hit by a cyberattack. New Hampshire-based Dyn said its server infrastructure was hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack, which works by overwhelming targeted machines with malicious electronic traffic. Source
  • Major websites down in U.S. East Coast after suspected cyberattack

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Some major internet companies suffered service disruptions on Friday due to what internet infrastructure provider Dyn said was an ongoing interruption of its network mainly impacting the U.S. East Coast. But as of about 9:36 a.m. Source
  • How to watch the Orionid meteor shower Friday night

    Tech & Science CTV News
    Stargazers will be able to catch the annual Orionid meteor shower on Friday night during its second night of a two-day peak but unfavourable conditions could make it difficult to see. According to NASA, the best time to catch a glimpse of the meteor shower is a few hours before dawn when the sky is the darkest. Source
  • Russians seek answers to central Moscow GPS anomaly

    Tech & Science CTV News
    MOSCOW - Joggers, taxi drivers, players of Pokemon Go and senior Russian officials are seeking answers as to why mobile phone apps that use GPS are malfunctioning in central Moscow. A programmer for Russian internet firm Yandex, Grigory Bakunov, said Thursday that his research showed a system for blocking GPS was located inside the Kremlin, the heavily-guarded official residence of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Source
  • Calgary Zoo opens Canada's 1st greater sage-grouse breeding facility

    Tech & Science CBC News
    There's some good news for one of Canada's most endangered birds. The Calgary Zoo has just opened the first captive breeding facility in the country to help restore the greater sage-grouse population, which experts estimate has fallen below 400 individuals. Source
  • Mystery flares: Edmonton astronomer stumped by his own discovery

    Tech & Science CBC News
    For Edmonton astronomer Gregory Sivakoff, the sight of never-before-seen explosions in space was the find of a lifetime. In two galaxies not so far away, researchers have uncovered two mysterious objects that erupt with powerful X-rays. Source
  • From election campaigns to dishonest monkeys: Why we're hard-wired to lie

    Tech & Science CBC News
    In what will likely be remembered as the most surreal election campaign in modern American history, one word has been thrown around more than most — liar. Whether it's Donald Trump accusing Hillary Clinton of being a "world-class liar" or Clinton saying that Trump's political career is "founded on [an] outrageous lie", dishonesty has been a major talking point of the 2016 presidential contest. Source
  • Bye, Bao Bao! Later, Mei Lun and Mei Huan! Pandas leaving U.S.

    Tech & Science CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The panda population in the United States is dropping by three. Atlanta's zoo announced Thursday that its 3-year-old giant panda twins will leave the zoo Nov. 3. And the National Zoo in Washington said it will be saying bye-bye to panda cub Bao Bao in 2017. Source