Butchered Mammoth Suggests Humans Lived in Siberia 45,000 Years Ago

Jan 17, 2016

Photo credit: Pitulko et al., Science (2016)

By Laura Geggel

The slashed and punctured bones of a woolly mammoth suggest that humans lived in the far northern reaches of Siberia earlier than scientists had previously thought, a new study finds.

Before the surprising discovery, researchers thought that humans lived in the freezing Siberian Arctic no earlier than about 30,000 to 35,000 years ago. Now, the newly studied mammoth carcass suggests that people lived in the area, where they butchered the likes of this giant animal about 45,000 years ago.

“We now have an enormous extension of the space that was inhabited at 45,000 years ago,” said Vladimir Pitulko, a senior research scientist at the Russian Academy of Sciences and co-lead researcher on the study.

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