The New World’s ‘10,000-year missing link’


The outlines of  Siberia (left) and Alaska (right) — in dashed lines — go head to head. The area in darker green (now submerged by seawater) represents Beringia near the end of the last glacial maximum, when sea levels were low and ice sheets prevented migrants from Siberia from reaching America. | Photo courtesy of Wlliam Manley, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, University of Colorado.

Did you ever wonder how ancient peoples managed to stay warm in bitterly cold weather like this?

Ice-age mammal bones provided a nice fire, researchers say. But to get the fire started, Siberian migrants who began a trek to America 25,000 years ago needed woody shrubs, which were growing in only one region, according to a study in Science. The findings help explain how the migrants survived for 10,000 years in what was thought to be a land devoid of trees and why no archaeological traces of their settlements have been found. Continue reading