Mammoth bones show evidence of prehistoric humans in Arctic
Mammoth bones show evidence of prehistoric humans in Arctic Volunteer Sergey Gorbunov works at the excavation site of a mammoth carcass in northern Russia's Siberia region near the Kara Sea. (Alexei Tikhonov/Pitulko et al./Science via AP)
Mammoth bones show evidence of prehistoric humans in Arctic
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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.
 
Marks on the bones, found in far northern Russia, indicate the creature was hunted. The tip of a tusk was damaged in a way that suggests human activity. That was 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 of the find is in Siberia, near the Kara Sea. It is also by far the northernmost sign of human presence in Eurasia before 40,000 years ago. This is according to Vladimir Pitulko. He works for the Russian Academy of Science in St. Petersburg. Pitulko and co-authors reported the discovery in a paper released 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. But the population was probably sparse, they said.
 
Daniel Fisher is a mammoth expert at the University of Michigan who did not participate in the study. He 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. That was an email comment from John Hoffecker of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
 
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. 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. It would have been complex enough to share the food from the relatively rare kills.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/mammoth-bones-show-evidence-prehistoric-humans-arctic/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How do the mammoth bones show evidence of prehistoric humans in Arctic?
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COMMENTS (48)
  • oscarb-1-bar
    1/22/2016 - 10:55 a.m.

    Mammoth bones show evidence of prehistoric humans in arctic because of the markings on their bones. In the passage, it says, "Marks on the bones, found in far northern Russia, indicate the creature was hunted. The tip of a tusk was damaged in a way that suggests human activity," These markings can be interpreted because of the significant markings on the bones which suggest human hunting. I think this is very cool that we can find how long humans have lived for from other animal's bones.

  • sophiah1-spe
    1/22/2016 - 11:06 a.m.

    I think that it was an amazing discovery.

  • katelynnd-spe
    1/22/2016 - 11:26 a.m.

    Is the mammoth in a museum?

  • hannahr1-spe
    1/22/2016 - 11:31 a.m.

    I think that it's really cool how we discover the activities of prehistoric humans.

  • josephp-mea
    1/22/2016 - 11:52 a.m.

    The mammoth tusks show that it had been removed for hunters to use them to make ivory tools for hunting and other tasks. Also there are marks on the bones that also suggest hunting.

  • nelsonr-mea
    1/22/2016 - 11:56 a.m.

    The bones show evidence that the mammoth was being hunted because it shows marking on the bones that most believe were related to human activity.

  • sarahg-mea
    1/22/2016 - 11:57 a.m.

    The mammoth bones have marks on them that indicate they were hunted. For example, the tip of a tusk was damaged in a way that shows human activity. They think it was probably used to make ivory tools.They also found evidence from a wolf bone that there were humans hunting. Therefore, these old bones with human made marks on them must have been hunted by people.

  • ellenp-mea
    1/22/2016 - 11:58 a.m.

    It shows evidence of prehistoric human in Arctic by the damage that was done to the tusk of the mammoth. Not only that, but humans also hunted these mammoths at the time. We hunted them for the use of their tusks.

  • rykerw-mea
    1/22/2016 - 11:58 a.m.

    It shows how the humans could have hurt the mammoths, showing that humans were there at that time

  • kelseyb-mea
    1/22/2016 - 11:59 a.m.

    The mammoth bones show evidence of prehistoric humans in Arctic because scientists in the article said that they found a wolf bone which means a widespread occupation. Also because a scientist found markings on a mammoth bone which indicated hunting.

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