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Suspected first trace of Beringia people on the land bridge - now mostly sunken - joining Russia and North America

By The Siberian Times reporter
15 August 2018

Most northerly palaeolithic site found on Arctic island of Stolbovoy, part of lost continental link between Siberia and Alaska, believe scientists.

At time time, Stolbovoy would have been connected to the mainland, and the site now being examined was on commanding 150 metre sheer cliffs. Picture: Ilya Kravchenko

Excavations are to be made after the discovery of evidence indicating the world’s most northerly Palaeolithic site on this remote island off the Arctic coast of Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic. 

An expedition to Stolbovoy in the eastern Laptev Sea, some 184 km from the mainland, found implements believed to belong to ancient humans at the time when there was a land bridge between modern Siberia and North America, known as Beringia. 

The implements at new Palaeolena site are consistent with being up to 300,000 years old but further research must be conducted, say experts.

Map


Stolbovoy

The new site lies some 877 km north of the Arctic Circle, some 1,776 km south of the North Pole. 

It was across the land bridge that the American continent was first settled, it is now believed. 

Until now, the most northerly known human settlement in Palaeolithic times - Yana Site - has been 370 km to the south, dating back some 32,500 years, according to archeologists.

At time time, Stolbovoy would have been connected to the mainland, and the site now being examined was on commanding 150 metre sheer cliffs - ‘majestic and breathtaking’ - above deep water close to the estuary of the giant Paleo-Lena river.  

The new site lies some 877 km north of the Arctic Circle, some 1,776 km south of the North Pole. 

Flooding began to submerge Beringia some 15,000 years ago.

Research on Stolbovoy


Research on Stolbovoy


Fire on the shore

'The idea to check Stolbovoy came two years ago, when we made the map of the surface of the Laptev part of Beringia.' Pictures: Ilya Kravchenko

As it did so, Stolbovoy became disconnected from modern mainland Russia.  

Researcher Tomas Simokaitis told The Siberian Times: ‘We suppose the site is Palaeolithic.

‘We suppose these implements we have found are hundreds of thousands years old, but so far we have no iron proof.’

A range of tests will be conducted on the finds, he said.  

‘If, with time, we prove that it is Palaeolithic, this will be the first clear evidence of humans on the Beringia land.’

Furthermore, if confirmed, this will be ‘the world’s northernmost site, where ancient people stayed, currently known by science’.

He sees it as potentially a ‘world scale discovery in that this site gives the first tangible confirmation of human presence on the territory of legendary Beringia’.

finds


Tomas Simokaitis shows finds

‘We suppose these implements we have found are hundreds of thousands years old, but so far we have no iron proof.’ Pictures: Ulus Media, Ilya Kravchenko

He announced: 'We do plan the further research. 

‘If not this year, then definitely the next year, we will gather samples.

‘We will try to dig into the permafrost, and open the surface. 

‘For now we have just collected material from the surface.’

Simokaitis is from the Institute for Humanities Research and Indigenous Studies of the North (IHRISN), Siberian Branch of RAS, Yakutsk.

The expedition to the New Siberian archipelago was organised by Yakutia Academy of Sciences, and the Yakutia branch of the Russian Geographical Society. 

He said: 'The idea to check Stolbovoy came two years ago, when we made the map of the surface of the Laptev part of Beringia - the surface of the part of the Laptev Sea which turned to the shore in ancient times. 

Map


Yana site


Yana site

Until now, the most northerly known human settlement in Palaeolithic times - Yana Site - has been 370 km to the south, dating back some 32,500 years, according to archeologists. Pictures: The Siberian Times, Institute of the History of Material Culture

‘We noticed that big depths are around Stolbovoy, the fault is up to 44 metres deep. 

‘That means that was obviously a river channel. 

‘And we imagined how it looked like in Palaeolithic times - 150 metre sheer cliffs, so majestic and breathtaking. 

‘And besides, only one source of stone. 

‘So I suggested there must be something here.’

'We imagined how it looked like in Palaeolithic times - 150 metre sheer cliffs, so majestic and breathtaking.' Pictures: Ilya Kravchenko

Stolbovoy island


Stolbovoy island


Stolbovoy island


Stolbovoy island

Comments (5)

kinda stupid i dont like i what it about.
higby boy 2000, russia
22/09/2018 01:19
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1
does anyone know why in the penultimate two pictures the cliff side looks like its been scraped with a machine ,even though its presumably natural ??
Russia Man, Russia
06/09/2018 01:22
3
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Absolutely without equal. The concept of only one land bridge is so short sighted. Please report on what this land bridge shows.
Mae, Daly City Ca.
17/08/2018 12:10
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2
Fascinating to contemplate the world as a continuous mass of earth...and people, people who who rose from teachers depths to still mix and mingle some 56,ooo years ago. Excellent and Informative read.
Poetess O'Prunty, USA
16/08/2018 07:15
4
3
Scientists do not believe. Words matter. Scientists make hypothesis, theories, and so on. Science stands subject to continuos revision and, by far, does not constitute a belief system!
I-need-a-new-citizenship (and a brand new name), Somewhere out there
15/08/2018 22:06
2
4
1

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