Humans were in the Arctic at least 45,000 years ago, according to a new study that describes a brutal man versus mammoth event from that time.
The discovery, reported in the journal Science, extends the earliest presence of humans in the Arctic by 10,000 years. It also opens up the possibility that humans entered North America much earlier than previously thought, given that they were close to the Bering land bridge entry point.
At the center of it all were wooly mammoths, which hunters chased to the literal ends of the earth.
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"Mammoth tusks were the main target for them, providing raw materials to produce long points and full-size spears, becoming a substitute for wood that equipped spears with shafts," lead author Vladimir Pitulko of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute for the History of Material Culture told Discovery News.
He added, "This is especially important for questions related to the peopling of the New World, because now we know that eastern Siberia up to its Arctic limits was populated starting at roughly 50,000 years ago."