Humans on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau for 40,000 years ?

Beijing – Dubbed the roof of the world, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the world’s highest and largest plateau remains a harsh living environment. The thin air and cold weather make even the bravest adventurers shudder. Even so, a report by Chinese scientists has discovered that the earliest human activities on the plateau started some 40,000 years ago.

The report, led by a group of Chinese Academy of Sciences researchers including Zhang Xiaoling and Gao Xing, was based on an investigation of the Nwya Devu archaeological site in central Tibet in southwest China, some 4,600 meters above sea level, according to #Science magazine.

Laying 1.7 meter below ground, the archaeological site is divided into three layers and on the third layer, multiple stone products were excavated, some of which contained sand and water shells. As stone products are believed to be a key marker of human activity, the finding suggested that the plateau might have been more humid and warm in the past, while comprehensive measurement by carbon-14 dating and photoluminescence dating methods estimated that human activity in the area could be traced back 45,000 to 30,000 years.

The excavation of the NwyaDevu site found a total of 3,683 pieces of stone products, including some which are believed to be knives and containers. Researchers also found that the stone relics are of a single material, with a high proportion of unfinished or abandoned stone close to the source area. Therefore, speculation put the function of the site as a stone processing site for prehistoric humans.  (China Daily)