New Scientist: "Stone-age people lived in the lands north of the Arctic Circle before the peak of thelast Ice Age - much earlier than had been thought, suggests new findings.
The discovery of the site in eastern Siberia also hints that people might have moved from the Old World into the Americas at a much earlier date than believed.
The site along the Yanu River, carbon-dated as 30,000 years old, is twice the age of the oldest previously known Arctic settlement, report Vladimir Pitulko of the Institute for the History of Material Culture in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and colleagues.
The area is about 2000 kilometres from the Bering Strait. This is important as archaeologists have long suspected that some of the earliest Americans may have crossed the Bering land bridge from northeastern Asia. However, scientists had little evidence of Arctic settlements in Asia older than 14,000 years - the age of the earliest Alaskan sites. The age of the Yanu River site shows that people learned to live in the Arctic much earlier, and might have reached Alaska earlier than has been recognized.
'Pitulko's find is exciting because it shows that people were living in an ecosystem that stretched continuously between Asia and North America. If they had wandered a little further eastward...bingo - they could have been the first Americans,' Daniel Mann of the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks told New Scientist."