Scientists Claim Tibet Had An Early Stone Age Settlement

Scientists from China have recently uncovered new evidence that points to human habitation on the Qinghai Tibet Plateau around 30,000 to 40,000 years ago. The stone-age artifacts, which were uncovered at Nwya Devu on the Changtang area of the Tibet Autonomous Region at an altitude of around 4,600 meters above sea level, are irrefutable proof that mankind made forays onto the plateau more than 15,000 years before archaeologists previously believed. Evidence has also recently been uncovered in Nyingchi, in a small village, that also dates back around 40,000 years.

The discovery in the Changtang region of Tibet unearthed more than 3,600 stone artifacts, which included sharpened stone blades and arrow-heads, much of which was made from black slate that is believed to have been taken from an outcrop on the nearby Nwya Devu Hill. The site, which is around 300 kilometers to the north of the Tibetan capital of Lhasa, is one of two sites recently found in Tibet by the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences that could prove that humans made it to the plateau long before the hunter-gatherers of around 15,000 years ago settled on the edge of the plateau in what is now Qinghai Province.

The second site to be discovered, in a small village in Nyingchi Prefecture of Tibet Autonomous Region, is even more of a discovery than the Changtang site, which has yet to produce any evidence of human DNA or bone fragments from a Homo Sapiens skeleton. These are the findings needed to discover who these early human inhabitants of the plateau were, and why they ventured onto the harsh and dangerous plateau so long ago. It could also answer some very important questions on how they survived in the harsh high-altitude environment.

The archaeological site in Nyingchi unearthed some very important finds, including stone artifacts, pieces of pottery, and human and animal bones, all of which are dated to between 30,0000 and 40,000 years ago. Two damaged graves were also found on the site, with human remains from around 30,000 years ago sticking out of them. This new evidence not only hints at a much earlier settlement of the plateau region above 3,000 meters, but also suggests some form of spiritual beliefs in these early humans, in that they actually buried their dead.

Due to the thinner atmosphere and high altitude, along with the lack of natural food sources and the extremes of weather, the Tibetan plateau was one of the last regions of Asia to be colonized by the early modern humans, the earliest form of Homo Sapiens. Migration of the Homo Sapiens race cam out of Africa around 125,000 years ago, and extended east into Asia, spreading across India and Southeast Asia, as far as western China and Mongolia. However, the plateau was avoided for fear of the elements and conditions, until around 40,000 years ago.

This newest pair of discoveries in Tibet has changed the scientific community’s view on the origins of humans on the plateau, and is of huge significance in expanding the understanding of the migration patterns of prehistoric humans throughout Asia. These discoveries are also of great significance in the social studies of the origins of the native Tibetan people and their unique culture. Previous data recorded the earliest forays onto the plateau at 15,000 years ago, and the actual permanent settling of the plateau to be around 3,600 years ago, after the people had mastered growing crops of barley and domesticating sheep and yaks for use on the high-altitude plateau.
TAG: scientific discovery on tibetan plateau scientists discover prehistoric remains stone age man came to tibet forty thousand years ago


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