Friday, 15 January 2016

Early Hunting Lesson for Creationists.

Mammoth ribs with hunting lesions collected at Yana RHS [(A) to (F)], showing the mechanism for the formation of bone injury on the fifth rib of the SK mammoth (G).

(A) Mammoth rib with embedded lithic tool fragment. (B) Mammoth rib with two injuries that retain lithics. (C) View of the upper cut at (B). (D) View of the lower cut at (B). (E) Bone injury with no lithic in it but clearly left by the same action as for (A) and (B). (F) Bone injury that resulted from sliding of the lithic implement that removed part of the bone. (G) Hunting lesion on the fifth left rib of the SK mammoth; compare to (A) to (F) and note the same scale for all images.

Photo: Aleksei Tikhonov
© 2016, The American Association for the Advancement of Science
Early human presence in the Arctic: Evidence from 45,000-year-old mammoth remains | Science

More shocking evidence for creationists emerged this week in the form of evidence of hominid occupation of Northern Siberia some 39,000 years before they believe their god created the Universe.

A team of archaeologist at the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg have found distinct evidence that a dead mammoth had been injured by stone-tipped weapons before and after death. The conclusion must be that it was killed by an armed hunting party using Stone Age tools. The problem for creationists is that the remains of the 15 year-old male mammoth has been carbon dated to 45,000 years ago, which puts its death before the height of the last Ice Age.

The evidence includes fragment of stone embedded in the bone as well as cuts which must have been made by a sharp instrument capable of cutting into bone. The remains of the mammoth were recovered from a frozen coastal bluff in central northern Siberia near the Kara Sea at 72o N, well inside the Siberian Arctic and only made accessible in the last twenty years.

Archaeological evidence for human dispersal through northern Eurasia before 40,000 years ago is rare. In west Siberia, the northernmost find of that age is located at 57°N. Elsewhere, the earliest presence of humans in the Arctic is commonly thought to be circa 35,000 to 30,000 years before the present. A mammoth kill site in the central Siberian Arctic, dated to 45,000 years before the present, expands the populated area to almost 72°N. The advancement of mammoth hunting probably allowed people to survive and spread widely across northernmost Arctic Siberia.

Early human presence in the Arctic: Evidence from 45,000-year-old mammoth remains
Vladimir V. Pitulko, Alexei N. Tikhonov, Elena Y. Pavlova, Pavel A. Nikolskiy, Konstantin E. Kuper, Roman N. Polozov
Science 15 Jan 2016: Vol. 351, Issue 6270, pp. 260-263 DOI: 10.1126/science.aad0554

Copyright © 2016, The American Association for the Advancement of Science. Reprinted with permission under licence #3790230579664

So this means hominids had expanded this far north about 10-15,000 years earlier than previously known. Without DNA evidence there is no way we can know for sure which species of hominid this was. It has been assumed on current evidence that, at the start of the last Ice Age, about 110,000 years ago, Homo sapiens was confined to Africa with H. erectus in Asia from an earlier migration, and that H. sapiens expansion out of Africa facilitated by climate change associated with the end of this glaciation.

To have migrated this far north and to have adapted either physically or technologically by 45,000 years ago, at the height of the last Ice Age seems highly improbable for H. sapiens so the likelihood is that these were H. neanderthalensis or possibly the 'Denisovans' hunting in organised groups able to bring down a mammoth. With the recent evidence that a descendant of H. erectus may have coexisted with early modern human farmers in southwest China, they, or a remnant population, can't be entirely eliminated either.

Perhaps a creationist would like to suggest what sort of humans these mammoth hunters with stone tools were and explain how they came to be in Northern Siberia 39,000 years before the Universe was created. It would also be good to know how this permafrost seems to have escaped the melting which would have occurred during a global flood which creationists believe covered Earth just 4000 years ago.

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