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Ice Age humans

23 June 2011

A story at www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13846262?print=true seems to indicate the first modern humans, the Gravettian culture, entered Europe from the Russian plains rather than through the Balkans. Why this might be so is not discussed, as such, as the evidence comes from a cave in the Ukraine – and presumably no such early evidence yet exists in the Balkans. Still, it does give weight to the idea the steppe zone, which in the Ice Age was a band running from Iberia to NE Siberia, was an idea location for human hunters to thrive. 

Meanwhile, in the Americas, a fragment of bone that has been dated 13,000 years ago (from a quarry in Florida) was incised with an image of a mammoth. The validity of the bone fragment had been questioned by those averse to the idea there were humans in the region as early as that date, has been verified, and the results have been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science (June). However, it is also pointed out the date is determined because mammoths became extinct 13,000 years ago (in the Americas) and therefore the bone must be at least that old – or older. Sadly, the bone fragment was not found in context and the quarry itself was excavated as long ago as 1913-1916. It was said at the time that human bones were found jumbled up with those of Ice Age animals. Whether the deposit also exists in unexcavated layers beyond the quarry is not at the moment verifiable. See www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621131334.htm 

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