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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “UA scientist, team finds 45,000-year-old human bones”

    A team that includes a UA geosciences specialist has found the remains of modern humans dating back as far as 45,000 years, a discovery that will be published today in the journal Science.

    Vance Holliday, a professor of geosciences and anthropology, worked on six of more than 12 active

    excavation sites in Kostenki, about 250 miles south of Moscow, and found bones that indicate the presence of a very intelligent and hunting-savvy group of people who may have migrated from as far as the Middle East or Africa.

    “”We don’t know for sure where they came from,”” Holliday said. “”But we have seen over and over in different excavations that people were occupying the area for hundreds of years.””

    The discovery also came complete with artifacts that give evidence of the artistic ability of the people living in the area, Holliday said.

    “”They had more complex technology in the way of making art compared to other sites we have seen,”” Holliday said.

    Additionally, remains of animals ranging in size from small fish to humongous mammoths discovered at the sites indicate that the people living there were adept at honing and fine-tuning their hunting skills.

    More than the bones and artifacts themselves, the discovered sites seem to be an archaeologist’s dream just by the sheer number of them.

    “”There really is nothing else like it in the area,”” Holliday said.

    Holliday and others are in the process of developing a more concrete theory to explain why the area was so heavily populated at the time. Most existing theories seem to indicate the presence of ancient water springs and seeps, some of which are still active, Holliday said.

    The remains will tell us much about when modern humans moved from Africa to Eastern Europe, Holliday said, and may eventually allow us to glimpse at the how’s and why’s of migration at the time.

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