Neandertais viveram perto do Círculo Ártico???

sábado, maio 14, 2011

Last Neanderthals Near the Arctic Circle?

ScienceDaily (May 13, 2011) — Remains found near the Arctic Circle characteristic of Mousterian culture(1) have recently been dated at over 28,500 years old, which is more than 8,000 years after Neanderthals are thought to have disappeared. This unexpected discovery by an international multi-disciplinary team, including researchers from CNRS(2), challenges previous theories. Could Neanderthals have lived longer than thought? Or had Homo sapiens already migrated to Europe at that stage?

Ludovic Slimak and Pavel Pavlov examining a mammoth tusk in Byzovaya. (Credit: Copyright Hugues Plisson)

The results are published in Scienceof 13 May 2011.

The distinguishing feature of Mousterian culture, which developed during the Middle Palaeolithic (-300,000 to -33,000 years), is the use of a very wide range of flint tools, mainly by Neanderthal Man in Eurasia, but also by Homo sapiensin the Near East.

This culture is considered to be archaic, and not sufficiently advanced to allow Neanderthals to settle in the most extreme northern climates. It is thought to have brought about their demise some 33,000 to 36,000 years ago. They seem to have made way for modern humans, who appear to have occupied the whole of Eurasia thanks to their mastery of more advanced technologies.

A multi-disciplinary team of French CNRS researchers, working with Norwegian and Russian scientists, studied the Byzovaya site in the Polar Urals in northern Russia. Using carbon 14 dating and an optical simulation technique, the team was able to put an accurate date on sediments and on mammoth and reindeer bones abandoned on the site. The bones bore traces of butchering by Mousterian hunters.

Read more here: Science Daily


Science 13 May 2011: 
Vol. 332 no. 6031 pp. 841-845 
DOI: 10.1126/science.1203866

Late Mousterian Persistence near the Arctic Circle

Ludovic Slimak1,*, John Inge Svendsen2, Jan Mangerud2, Hugues Plisson3, Herbjørn Presthus Heggen2, Alexis Brugère4, and Pavel Yurievich Pavlov5

Author Affiliations

1CNRS, UMR 5608, TRACES, Université de Toulouse le Mirail, Maison de la Recherche, 5 Allées Antonio Machado, 31058 Toulouse Cedex 9, France.
2Department of Earth Science and Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research, University of Bergen, Allégaten 41, N-5007, Bergen, Norway.
3CNRS, UMR 5199, PACEA, IPGQ, Université Bordeaux 1, Bâtiment B18, Avenue des Facultés, 33405 Talence Cedex, France.
4CNRS, USR 3225 and UMR 7041, ArScAn, “Archéologies Environnementales,” Maison de l'Archéologie et de l'Ethnologie René Ginouvès, CC023, 21, Allée de l'Université, 92023 Nanterre Cedex, France.
5Department of Archaeology, Institute of Language, Literature and History, Komi Science Centre, Russian Academy of Sciences, Kommunisticheskaya Street 26, 167000 Syktyvkar, Komi, Russia.

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:


Palaeolithic sites in Russian high latitudes have been considered as Upper Palaeolithic and thus representing an Arctic expansion of modern humans. Here we show that at Byzovaya, in the western foothills of the Polar Urals, the technological structure of the lithic assemblage makes it directly comparable with Mousterian Middle Palaeolithic industries that so far have been exclusively attributed to the Neandertal populations in Europe. Radiocarbon and optical-stimulated luminescence dates on bones and sand grains indicate that the site was occupied during a short period around 28,500 carbon-14 years before the present (about 31,000 to 34,000 calendar years ago), at the time when only Upper Palaeolithic cultures occupied lower latitudes of Eurasia. Byzovaya may thus represent a late northern refuge for Neandertals, about 1000 km north of earlier known Mousterian sites.

Received for publication 4 February 2011.
Accepted for publication 29 March 2011.


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