Sunday, October 11, 2009
Scientists have pinned down when humans first started emerging after the last ice age. Evidence of human and stone artifacts show that humans inhabited Gough's cave in England, 14,700 years ago. It is theorized that as Europe slowly defrosted humans followed herds of horses into the grasslands of current day Britain. "In the past, radiocarbon dates have often been influenced by contamination that modern techniques can remove much more effectively. The new results have transformed our understanding of this site because at last we have a chronology we can rely on and which we can link to climatic events here and in the wider world," Dr. Tom Higham, Deputy Director of Oxford Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit.
Pictures of humans with cut marks on the walls of the cave suggest cannibalism was prevelant at the time. Both the writings and artifacts have led scientists to reexamine similar sites around the area to try to achieve a greater understanding of the first inhabitants of that area.