Mammoth Bones Prove Humans Conquered the Arctic Millennia Earlier Than We Thought

You will know us by the trail of the speared dead.


Thanks to humans’ propensity for stabbing things, British researchers just found evidence in Siberia that proves mankind pierced north of the Arctic Circle perhaps 15,000 years earlier than assumed.

The findings will be reported in Science Friday. They detail how the scrapes and bones along freshly unearthed frozen mammoth bones match up to those inflicted by ancient hunting weapons. That means that as far back as 45,000 years ago, humans had already figured out how to cope with the Arctic’s deadly cold and darkness by just absolutely dominating nature.

Here’s Liam Neeson’s interpretation, probably.

The mammoth’s remains were found a full 1,700 kilometers from a location researchers once believed to be the furthest northern point of human excursion, which is like the difference between Texas and North Dakota. The hunting marks were identified by matching them to those found on a previously excavated site in Siberia which also had plentiful mammoth hunting and where we did the job with lots and lots of spears.

To have gone so far so early in our development is “a mighty impressive achievement,” Robin Dennell, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Sheffield in England, told Science News. “What we don’t know is whether this was a successful long-term adaptation or a short-lived heroic failure.”