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‘The most suitable season for the use of animals for transport during the occupation of the Zhokhov site would probably have been in early spring (March and April), when snow is still solid and the days are longer than in the winter.
Indeed, today, the popular Beringia dog-sled race — a super-long-distance expedition of over 1000 km —normally takes place during this time of the year.
‘This is not just long-range but ultra-long-range transport of raw materials.’ This Great Ice Road was in operation four times as long ago as the famous Silk Road in Central Asia, and it was twice as old as the Egyptian pyramids.
As the crow flies this is a journey of some 1,500 km but as scientist Yaroslav Kuzmin told us ‘the actual distance that obsidian ‘walked’ is at least 2,000 km.
‘Dog-sled technology undoubtedly played an important part in raw materials exchange networks, as evidenced by the presence of Chukotka obsidian at the Zhokhov site.
Such an exchange system is a remarkable example of a subsistence strategy in use in northern Siberia at that time, if not earlier.‘The archaeological data from Zhokhov therefore indicate a super-long-distance Mesolithic exchange network,’ conclude the international team of researchers in the Antiquity paper.The scientists doubt the ancient people themselves carried the obsidian all this way.The presence of other Mesolithic sites on the north-eastern Siberian Arctic mainland testify — indirectly — to the active contact between human groups across this region.' The international team of researchers comprised Vladimir Pitulko (St Petersburg), Yaroslav Kuzmin (Novosibirsk), Michael D.Glascock (USA), Elena Pavlova (St Petersburg) and Andrei Grebennikov (Vladivostok).