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V. Pitulko and P. Nikolskiy (2012)

The extinction of the woolly mammoth and the archaeological record in Northeastern Asia

World Archaeology, 44(1):21-42.

The extinction of the woolly mammoth has attracted public and scientific attention for nearly 200 years. Despite the efforts of generations of scholars, the role of human predation in mammoth extinction is one of the most intriguing questions that remain unanswered. Chronological and spatial distribution patterns suggest that mammoth extinction occurred primarily as a result of climate change. Human predation may have accelerated the process of extinction during the final stages of mammoth migration to northern Siberian refugia. We do not explore the human contribution to the extinction process, but instead note its consequences, especially archaeologically visible cultural changes and a major technological shift that took place in Late Pleistocene Northeastern Asia. There appears to be a correlation between the spread of microblade technology and the timing of the extinction of mammoths in the region. We conclude that the disappearance of a valuable raw material (ivory), environmental change and changes in the availability of hunted animals caused the technological innovation of microblade technology.

ancient humans, europe, climate, kamchatka, late pleistocene, age, mammoths, Asia, mammuthus-primigenius, occupation, Upper Paleolithic, siberia, mammoth ivory, extinction, yana rhs site, Pleistocene, Siberia, last glacial maximum
WOS:000302559300003
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