1st humans settled on Tibetan Plateau 3 600 years ago

2014-11-21 09:09

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - Researchers said on Thursday that people likely moved to the Tibetan highlands 3,600 years ago, in an indication of when humans first settled at high altitudes.

Humans were able to permanently settle as high as 3 400 metres on the plateau - which is known as "the roof of the world" - by growing altitude-resistant crops and raising livestock, according to a study published in the US journal Science.

They survived on wheat and barley imported from the so-called "Fertile Crescent" in the Middle East and on transplants from China such as broomcorn and foxtail millet, said the researchers from Britain's Cambridge University, China and the United States.

The scientists analysed animal teeth, bones and plant deposits for the study.

"Year-round survival at these altitudes must have led to some very challenging conditions indeed," said lead researcher Martin Jones from Cambridge's Department of Archaeology.

"This poses further, interesting questions for researchers about the adaptation of humans, livestock and crops to life at such dizzying heights."

Sporadic human presence was detected on the plateau as early as 20 000 years ago, while semi-permanent settlers arrived 5 200 years ago.

Researchers said early humans likely first travelled to the plateau to hunt animals, but the discovery of altitude-resistant crops allowed them to plant their roots there.

The researchers examined the remains of pigs, sheep and cattle as well as plants at 53 sites across the northern Tibetan plateau.

Read more on:    science

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham

Here are just ten of our favourite plus-sized models:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.