Tech UPTechnologyThe first European hominins survived subzero temperatures

The first European hominins survived subzero temperatures

hominidos-britanicosThefirst men who managed to adapt to the freezing temperatures of Northern Europethey did it800,000 years ago, about 100,000 earlier than previously believedso far, according to a British study published by the journalNature.

Archaeologists have reached that conclusion after discovering78 tools and flint chips near Happisburgh(England) that account for the human presence in Great Britain, making it the oldest known human implantation in northern Europe, concludes this study, carried out by a team of scientists and archaeologists funded by theBritish Museum.

Until now, all the archaeological sites studied in Europe and Asia in which there are traces of human presence during the Pleistocene (between 1.8 million years and 780,000 years ago) were located below the 54th parallel, so it was interpreted that the temperature slowed the migration of the first men to the North. All of these sites were in a tropical, Mediterranean, or savanna climate.

Men seemed to be confined at that time to the south of the Pyrenees and the Alps and their presence in Great Britain was believed to have started 500,000 years ago. However, in 2005 searches for the Pakefield site (Suffold, East England) established human presence 700,000 years ago. New discoveries move the cursor on the timeline to 100,000 years earlier. And they show that theseearly humans survived in hostile climates, with sub-zero winter temperatures.

The discovery “has important implications for our understanding of the behavior of early humans, their adaptation, their survival, and for knowingwhen and how our ancestors colonized Europe after leaving Africa“1.8 million years ago, explained Professor Chris Stringer, director of research on the origin of Man at the Natural History Museum in London.

The new flint objects are not only older than the others discovered, but are also accompanied by a range of environmental data that give a clear picture of vegetation and climate. For example, that the first men survived in a climate with temperatures of between 16 to 18 degrees in summer, while in the winter they dropped to -3 degrees. Or that “the plain, flooded by the tide, was covered with grass, which fed a large number of herbivores, such asmammoths, rhinos and horses. The predators had to be hyenas, felines with sharp teeth and of course humans, “said Simon Parfitt of University College London.

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