Upper Pleistocene Radiocarbon-Dated Artefacts from the Northern Yukon

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Science  26 Jan 1973:
Vol. 179, Issue 4071, pp. 335-340
DOI: 10.1126/science.179.4071.335


The evidence presented here indicates that man lived in the eastern part of the Beringian refugium before the peak of the late Wisconsin glaciation (27). He had sharp, stone tools intended for working bone and means of breaking large mammoth bones. Probably he hunted mammoth and caribou, and prepared the skins of the caribou for use as clothing and perhaps shelter. It is possible that he migrated to southern North America, although evidence for the presence of man there prior to the peak of the Wisconsin glaciation is at present in dispute (28). We do not know whether his culture should be classified as Mousteroid or Aurignacoid in Müller-Beck's scheme (23), whose criteria are taken from stone implements of which we have none, although we infer their presence. Our data suggest that in Beringia, and therefore probably in Siberia and the Far East, the transition from Middle Paleolithic to Upper Paleolithic levels of technology occurred at a relatively early date. This raises the larger question: Did the transition from Middle to Upper Paleolithic occur simultaneously in many parts of the world, or did it begin in and spread from one area (23)?