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The presence of other Mesolithic sites on the north-eastern Siberian Arctic mainland testify — indirectly — to the active contact between human groups across this region.' The international team of researchers comprised Vladimir Pitulko (St Petersburg), Yaroslav Kuzmin (Novosibirsk), Michael D.
Glascock (USA), Elena Pavlova (St Petersburg) and Andrei Grebennikov (Vladivostok).
’It is quite surmountable in early spring dog sledding.' The experts believe ‘it is possible that some types of ‘trade hub’ existed in the Siberian Arctic for the exchange of valuable resources, such as stone raw materials, furs and other items’.
It was around 7,800 years ago that the the territory of Zhokhov became detached from the mainland.
‘The distance between the Lake Krasnoe source and utilisation sites is around 450–500km in a direct line.
Fewer obsidian artefacts are found in and around the Kolyma River mouth, which is approximately 850km from the source.’ Kuzmin said: 'It is unlikely that the ancient people made trips to such long distances; most likely there has been an exchange or a primitive trade of obsidian.
‘While journeys on foot were costly in terms of time, labour and energy, walking allowed for the creation of an exchange network, the scale of which could be expanded significantly by the use of transportation, such as watercraft or animal-powered systems.
At the time Zhokhov Island - now part of the De Long Islands in the New Siberian archipelago - was connected to the Siberian mainland, and the climate was milder than today. Obsidian was used by ancient people at a famous site on Zhokhov for tools: the black or green volcanic glass, an extrusive igneous rock, was a material of choice.
8000 BP.’ They believe there were staging posts on the exchange route and note that ‘obsidian artefacts have been found in the Malyy Anyuy River basin (in western Chukotka) and in the lower course of the Kolyma River’.