The remains of a woolly mammoth thousands of years old indicates that it died due to injuries sustained by ivory and stone tools — and that humans might have been around a lot earlier than previously thought, and in an area that, up until now, experts thought was uninhabited by people at the time.

Discovered in Siberia in 2012, the mammoth was observed by a team of scientists at the Russian Academy of Sciences led by archaeologist Vladimir Pitulko, who determined that particular lesions and marks found on the remains, including the head, tusks and ribcage, appear to be made by handcrafted tools. The catch? The mammoth is 45,000 years old — 10,000 to 15,000 years older than the time period that scientists estimated humans had migrated that area.

Currently, the amount of hard evidence (i.e., human remains and/or artifacts made by humans) that tells us how far back we've existed is pretty scarce in general, and what we do have points to people living further north than 55 degrees latitude only ("only") stretches back from 30,000 to 35,000 years ago. The site where the mammoth's remains were found is positioned at 72 degrees north, right in the Arctic Circle.

"The advancement of mammoth hunting probably allowed people to survive and spread widely across northernmost Arctic Siberia," noted Pitulko.

Via: The Verge

Photo: Joe Goldberg | Flickr

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