Support the Arctic Sea Ice Forum and Blog

Author Topic: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.  (Read 2232 times)

Forest Dweller

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 138
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 4
  • Likes Given: 32
Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« on: October 12, 2017, 02:17:11 PM »
I could not find a suitable topic for this so thought to start one.
It's easy to forget just how far back Arctic background and exploration goes between all the focus on climate and modern times.
As general expectations are that thawing permafrost will yield more and more finds there may well be some interesting discoveries ahead.

If not already....spears from up to 28,000 years old made from mammoth and rhino here;

http://siberiantimes.com/science/casestudy/news/is-this-proof-early-man-weaponised-ivory-from-woolly-mammoth-tusks-to-killwoolly-mammoths/

The article links to an earlier one with better geographical info.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 02:29:10 PM by Forest Dweller »

Human Habitat Index

  • Frazil ice
  • Posts: 155
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 20
  • Likes Given: 79
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2019, 08:24:54 AM »
Fossil teeth reveal ancient hyenas in the Arctic

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190618070804.htm
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer


Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2019, 04:32:01 PM »
IRON AGE HORSE // NORWAY - website: Mental Floss - August 2017

Quote
In September 2013, bones from an Iron Age horse were uncovered from a site over 6500 feet high in the mountains of Norway. The horse, found alongside perfectly preserved manure and a horseshoe, indicates to archaeologists that Iron Age peoples were using these animals to carry cargo at high altitude over the mountains near Oppland in Norway. …  Earlier in 2013, an amazingly well-preserved 1700-year-old woollen tunic was also rescued from melting ice in the region—two patches on the garment showed that it had been carefully mended by its Iron Age owner.
OK, these aren't quite "prehistoric" …
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2019, 04:38:38 PM »
Melting Yukon ices reveals 5,000-year-old archaeological treasures - June 2014
Quote
According to Hare, climate conditions on about two dozen Yukon mountains have proven to be almost uniquely suited to preserving organic material. Unlike glaciers that move, slowly grinding down any artifacts trapped in them, the Yukon ice patches tend to remain stable. Or at least they did, until gradual warming over the past several decades began to shrink them and reveal treasures. Among the finds: wooden darts as old as nearly 9,000 years, some complete with stone points, sinew bindings, bits of feather and traces of ochre decoration; a finely carved, barbed antler projectile point from about 1,200 years ago; and a size-four moccasin, 1,400 years old, amazingly intact, and believed to be a boy’s. “Some of it is very beautiful,”
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2019, 05:02:36 PM »
The Emergence of Glacial Archaeology - doi: 10.1558/jga.v1i1.1  Journal of Glacial Archaeology - 2014

Good introduction to history of Glacial Archaeology and a description of ice types (valley glacier, ice sheet, ice patch).
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2019, 05:18:22 PM »
Artic Meltdown: We're Already Feeling the Consequences of Thawing Permafrost - Discover Magazine - January 2019
Quote
… researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences sprouted three dozen Silene stenophylla, herby white tundra flowers, from 30,000-year-old fruits. The specimens were recovered from ancient squirrel burrows, 125 feet deep in the permafrost of northeast Russia, according to the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. After sprouting in nutrient-rich test tubes, the seedlings had run-of-the-mill plant lives: They grew into fruit-bearing flowers in plastic pots and soil, resuming normal biological activity after being frozen for 300 centuries.
Finally, something "prehistoric"! 

Quote
… at Birnirk, a site in far north Alaska dated to A.D. 600-1300, archaeologists recovered parkas, boots and even baby clothes made from sealskins and polar bear fur — “incredibly high-performing garments out of all natural materials,” says Rasic. “They made fine needles and threads and could sew watertight seams in a time before Gore-Tex and all the high-tech fibers we have now.”

At another Alaskan site, Raven Bluff, bones were so well preserved that Rasic assumed they were a few hundred years old. But results from radiocarbon dating brought a shock: Raven Bluff was inhabited 11,000 years ago. Permafrost sites of this era are key to understanding how Ice Age people migrated from Siberia and settled the Americas.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2019, 05:31:59 PM »
Archaeology at Raven Bluff, Northwestern Alaska - Frontier Scientists - Posted on February 2, 2011
Quote
Archaeologists continue excavating a 12,000 year old prehistoric site overlooking the Kivalina River, yielding evidence of generations of wandering hunters. During the 2010 summer season, what they have found is contributing new insights– and contrary new evidence– into the thinking on how humans spread throughout North American at the close of the Pleistocene.
The Raven Bluff site was discovered in 2007 by BLM archaeologist Bill Hedman and a crew conducting an archaeological site survey in the far northwest corner of Alaska. The Bering Land Bridge between Russia and North America may have still existed–or had just submerged for the last time–when hunters first frequented Raven Bluff.
Jeff Rasic, archaeologist and curator for the University of Alaska Museum, guides the digging crew in finding some of the oldest preserved animal bone found anywhere in the America Arctic. Rapid soil accumulation, low acidity, and perennially frozen conditions resulted in excellent bone preservation.
The notion that people at this time period were bison hunters in Northern Alaska is being put to the test; 12,000 years ago, what is now moist tundra was a drier, grassier landscape grazed by animals that included bison.
Another established scientific hypothesis being tested is how the use of certain stone tools spread in North America. The lower levels of the site produced a very significant find of a roughly 12,000 year-old fluted projectile point base, marking the first time such a tool has been definitely dated in the north. “The idea for decades has been that fluted projectile point technology originated in Alaska or perhaps Siberia and was carried south into the Americas,” explains Rasic. This model suggests that the Raven Bluff tool should be older than similar points found further south on the continent. , so it may be that they did not originate in the north, but came from the south. So the question now is, does this represent a migration of people, or the spread of an idea from the south?”




Fluted projectile points in a stratified context at the Raven Bluff site document a late arrival of Paleoindian technology in northwest Alaska -  Buvit, et al. -  Geoarchaeology · September 2018 
Quote
Abstract
Our understanding of the northern fluted point tradition, a critical early New World lithic assemblage, is constrained by limited data from stratified, datable contexts. Here, we report on the Raven Bluff site in northwest Alaska, where fluted projectile points, microblades, and a well‐preserved faunal assemblage have been recovered from datable sediments. Results show that prehistoric inhabitants occupied a stone‐sorted polygon where retooling, game processing, and raw material procurement occurred mostly between 12,720 and at least 11,340 cal. yr B.P. We argue that once polygon formation ended, the stratigraphic context remained relatively intact. Further studies focused on the site’s lithic and bone assemblages will help shape our understanding of the relationship between fluted point technology, microblades, and caribou hunting in northern Alaska.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 08:39:26 PM by Tor Bejnar »
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2019, 05:47:31 PM »
An Overview of Alaskan’s Prehistoric Cultures
June 15, 2018 - Alaska Department of Natural Resources
Quote
The oldest confirmed prehistoric sites in Alaska belong to the Eastern Beringian Tradition, dating from about 14,000 to 12,000 years ago. They were occupied while Beringia was still isolated from the rest of North America and connected to Eurasia. The earliest sites in this tradition contain stone tools that closely resemble technology found in many Upper Paleolithic sites in Northeast Asia, and may represent some of the first migrants from the Old World into North America. Most of these earliest Beringian sites have been found in the Tanana River basin of Interior Alaska and date to a time of late glacial climatic warming called the Allerød interval. In tandem with the ameliorating climate, shrub tundra and possibly a few trees began to appear across much of Beringia during the Allerød. The addition of wood to the resource base may have been critical to the early migrants as a source of fuel and materials for tools and shelters.
(from page 7 of 54 pages of text and pictures)
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

be cause

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 860
  • Citizenship .. a Lurker gets asylum
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 234
  • Likes Given: 198
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2019, 05:54:37 PM »
 .. and a friend digging peat at the foot of Knockmany in Tyrone N.I. .. uncovered a wooden path and beside it a dwarf willow .. under @ 2 meters of peat . The willow sprouted and is now creeping in several family gardens . He has since re-buried the path as he feared archeologists .. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 ...

johnm33

  • Nilas ice
  • Posts: 1276
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 75
  • Likes Given: 40
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2019, 10:23:40 PM »
See what you think of this, https://pubs.usgs.gov/pp/0862/report.pdf
or some 'catastrophism' from nature, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-16958-2
« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 10:50:41 PM by johnm33 »

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2019, 11:37:11 PM »
I 'liked' this part concerning the early Holocene silty (retransported loess or “muck”) Ready Bullion Formation:
Quote
It contains none of the many extinct Pleistocene forms such as bison, horse, and mammoth present in the underlying Goldstream Formation.  The only vertebrate remains the writer collected from this formation are well-preserved perennially frozen moose coprolites.
So, according to the 1975 USGS report, there was a (at least) local extinction event some time before 10,000 years ago.

The 2017 paper included this about the Wisconsinian Goldstream Formation:
Quote
The remarkable preservation of vertebrate and plant remains within the mucks, however, is in stark contrast to the physical disruption and damage affecting much of this material. Much of the skeletal remains from Alaska and Yukon were disarticulated and broken prior to freezing (Fig. 3a), and the rare preserved carcasses were often mangled and torn apart. Such dismemberment has been attributed to predators and scavengers, but these explanations raise questions including why the carcasses’ remaining fat and flesh had not been consumed. In addition, the fine-grained character of the mucks differs markedly from that of the more massive logs, megafaunal bones and tusks enclosed within it.
...
In view of this new evidence [not copied here], the mucks and their well-preserved but highly disrupted and damaged vertebrate and botanical remains are reinterpreted in part as blast deposits that resulted from several episodes of airbursts and ground/ice impacts within the northern hemisphere during Late Pleistocene time (~46–11 ka B.P.)
The Wisconsinian glaciation itself could be a reasonable cause of 'an extinction event', but this paper is all about catastrophic events.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.

kassy

  • Grease ice
  • Posts: 681
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 211
  • Likes Given: 293
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2019, 05:57:18 PM »
I don´t think glaciation mangles and tears apart carcasses.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Tor Bejnar

  • Young ice
  • Posts: 2977
    • View Profile
  • Liked: 307
  • Likes Given: 166
Re: Prehistoric life in the Arctic, human and other.
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2019, 08:31:06 PM »
A "carcass" that finds itself in a bergschrund (cravasse at the head of a glacier [in the cirque]) might be totally pulverized by the time it gets spit out at the terminus, or maybe mangled, or maybe left pretty much in tact.

Mendel Glacier and 1942 airplane crash
Quote
On November 18, 1942 a Beech 18 AT-7 Navigator with a pilot and three student navigators crashed into the cliffs below Mt. Mendel. All four people were killed. The crash site was found in 1947 by some UC Berkeley students. In 1947 and 1948 the US Army mounted three expeditions to find the remains of the crew killed in 1942 but the recovery missions were all unsuccessful.
...
In October, 2005, two climbers on their way to climb the famous Mendel Couloirs found the remains of one of the missing men from 1942 melting out of the Mendel Glacier. In 2007, [Peter Stekel, author of this piece] found the remains of a second crewmember. The pilot and the remaining student navigator are still buried somewhere in or around the glacier.
...
There is quite a bit of airplane debris out there - mostly small pieces of metal that have been chewed up by the glacier.
Possibilities: 
  • the two remaining bodies never fell into the bergschrund and just haven't been found yet
  • they're in or on the glacier 'about' to be spit out (to be found or not)
  • they were ground into 'nothing'
Remember that all the loess in the world was created by glaciers grinding rocks into 'boulder clay' (aka till, but I enjoy the quaint old descriptive term  :) ), with the silt portion getting separated out (by water) then blown about.
Arctic ice is healthy for children and other living things.