PerspectiveArchaeology

Clearing the (high) air

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6453, pp. 541-542
DOI: 10.1126/science.aay2334

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

Common characteristics of high-elevation [>2500 m above sea level (masl)] environments—low primary productivity, scarce resources, weather extremes, hypoxia—all present a challenge to human survival. Given these constraints, scientists long believed the high-elevation plateaus of Ethiopia, Tibet, and the Andes to be among the last places peopled by human ancestors. However, recent archaeological data from high-elevation sites (13) have pushed the chronology of humans well into the Pleistocene epoch, which ended ∼11,700 years ago, marking the close of the last glacial period. On page 583 of this issue, Ossendorf et al. (1) report on findings of a human presence at the Fincha Habera rock shelter (3469 masl, Bale Mountains, Ethiopia) that dates as far back as 31,000 to 47,000 years before the present (yr B.P.).

View Full Text