Did vast wildfires widespread opposite a Earth 13,000 years ago, withdrawal an ecologically altered Northern Hemisphere in their wake?
That’s a argumentative doubt that UO archaeologist Jon Erlandson and an general group of scientists residence in a study published online forward of imitation this month in a Journal of Geology.
The investigate investigates marine, lake and tellurian sediments on 4 continents to exam a supposition that a vital informal cooling period, famous as a Younger Dryas, was triggered by a comet impact and a successive part of intense, widespread blazing of forests and other vegetation.
Evidence for a comet impact eventuality was initial reported in Oct 2007 by a 26-member group from 16 institutions in a paper in a Proceedings of a National Academy of Sciences. Erlandson and former UO scientist Douglas Kennett, now conduct of a Department of Anthropology during Penn State University, were co-authors on that paper.
The new investigate in a Journal of Geology describes a widespread “black mat” of organic lees that was laid on sites opposite North America. The authors introduce that a pad is a outcome of large-scale blazing set off by a comet strike, that caused an “impact winter” and contributed to a extinctions of North America’s vast ice age mammals, including mammoths, mastodons, apocalyptic wolves, horses and hulk sloths.
They note that fossils of these vast mammals, as good as justification of one of their large game-hunting contemporaries, a Clovis people, have usually been found in dirt and stone layers next a black mat, suggesting that they were wiped out as a pad was deposited.
“If an impact winter contributed to mass megafaunal extinctions, it would also have significantly influenced humans, directly and immediately, and afterwards indirectly for centuries to come as a outcome of ecological changes,” pronounced Erlandson, executive executive of a UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History.
Indeed, a authors disagree that following a stop of a Clovis culture, there was a decrease in tellurian populations opposite a Northern Hemisphere during a Younger Dryas.
Erlandson, an consultant in island and coastal archaeology and investigate on a initial Americans, has for some-more than 3 decades conducted fieldwork on California’s Channel Island, including dual sites that contributed information to a new study.
A heading coastal-migration theorist, Erlandson has argued that Clovis enlightenment — once suspicion to have migrated from mainland Asia opposite a Bering land overpass — was predated by nautical peoples nearing by approach of a kelp highway along a Pacific Rim.
If a Clovis people were wiped out directly or indirectly by a vast impact, what competence have happened to those progressing naval peoples who presumably staid along coastlines or presumably followed vital Pacific Coast rivers into a North American interior?
Erlandson pronounced a answers aren’t nonetheless clear.
“Population information are meagre for this time period,” he said. “On a Channel Islands, there is an archaeological opening of several centuries after a due impact date, though we don’t nonetheless know how suggestive that opening is. We’ve narrowed a opening extremely with new margin research, and destiny discoveries might slight it serve or discharge it entirely.”
Source: University of Oregon
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