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The earliest human occupation of the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau 40 thousand to 30 thousand years ago

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Science  30 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6418, pp. 1049-1051
DOI: 10.1126/science.aat8824

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Paleolithic occupation of Tibet

Human colonization of the high-altitude Tibetan Plateau has generally been thought to have been confined to the past few thousand years of the Holocene. Zhang et al. report an investigation of the Nwya Devu archaeological site in central Tibet, 4600 meters above sea level, with Paleolithic occupation dates of ∼40 thousand to 30 thousand years ago (see the Perspective by Zhang and Dennell). The site has yielded a range of stone tools, indicating the adaptive ability of early modern humans to the harsh environment of the “roof of the world.” The findings also suggest that people from Tibet and Siberia may have interacted at this time.

Science, this issue p. 1049; see also p. 992