The maps above illustrate the changes from the milder interglacial conditions before the Younger Dryas and then during the Younger Dryas. The most obvious change is that the entire firested region of Northern Europe has been levelled flat and forests only cling to more mountainous regions in Southern Europe. Strata of that time do also explicitely contain the indications for the felled forests. The felled forests in both Europe and Noth America bear witness to enormous tsunamis crashing across the continents and subsequent flooding of all the low-lying districts. Below are the maps for the comparable periods in North America. For the Younger Dryas, I have altered the second map to reflect other information I have that there was also a deforestation event in the Deep South, accompanied by more saline soils, and that the newer forests were at first of a drier climate scrub and then rapidly replaced by swampy growth. The nascent icefree corridor also closed up again.
Calcolithic Coppers of Peru J.A. Pero-Sanz*, J. Asensio†, J.I. Verdeja†, J.P. Sancho† * Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, E.T.S.I. de Minas, 28003 Madrid, Spain † Universidad de Oviedo, E.T.S.I. de Minas, 33004 Oviedo, Spain
[The chart has been amended to allow for the new finds of copper use in the oldest Holocene in coastal Peru, mentioned in an earlier posting to this blog. This makes the oldest copper use in the New World traceable to the oldest Holocene in both Eastern North America and in coastal Perue survivals from the older Archaic establishment of what Donnelly called the Atlantean American Empire ancate about the same geographical area]
Neolithic groups of Europe. The Atlantic bunch is distinguished as using varieties of Cardial and Impresso ware: these are very similar to the older types of North Africa and entered into the area through Sicily and Malta (not indicated on this map)-the hows up in Palestine but it obviosly derives from the West when it does (it is intrusive there and more highly developed, and older, in the West).
A continental origin
Azilian is a name given by archaeologists to an industry of the Epipaleolithic in northern Spain and southern France. It probably dates to the period of the Allerød Oscillation around 10,000 years ago (10,000 BC uncalibrated) and followed the Magdalenian culture. Archaeologists think the Azilian represents the tail end of the Magdalenian as the warming climate brought about changes in human behaviour in the area. The effects of melting ice sheets would have diminished the food supply and probably impoverished the previously well-fed Magdalenian manufacturers. As a result, Azilian tools and art were cruder and less expansive than their Ice Age predecessors - or simply different. (Wikipedia)
Maglemosian (ca. 9500 BC–6000 BC) is the name given to a culture of the early Epipaleolithic period in Northern Europe. In Scandinavia, the culture is succeeded by the Kongemose culture.
Our story takes place circa 11 000 years ago (Younger Dryas - see picture above). It is winter and very cold. Look at the map hereunder. There is an ice cap over most of Scandinavia. Europe is covered with a forest-steppe (in pink), which is a mixture of patches of trees (a few birch and pine) and a lot of grassland. The more to the north, the less trees there are (tundra-steppe). The yellow area represents a dry steppe, mostly void of trees. Purple represents woodland. The sea level is much lower than today. Britain is a part of the continent. The first deciduous trees appear only in the far south of France and in Spain.
Seasonal migrations of the Azelian and Maglemosian tribes. Maglemosian could be related to a precursor of the Proto-Indo-European language. Azelian, Basque (possible original spread) and Etruscan are non-Proto-Indo-European languages.
Big animals need a lot of grass. A steppe is covered with grass. The conditions are ideal for big migrating herds of European wisent (=bison), deer, etc. This meant enough food for the humans, and a subsequent growth of their population.
Spring came late to the barren land. In May the herds began to travel north. Herds travel much faster than humans can follow (on foot). The humans prepared themselves to go to their summer quarters, also in the north. They were organized in small clans, on average some 25-35 people; 4 up to 7 adult men, some elderly people and the rest were women, children and babies. Each clan had a well-known summer territory, inherited for many generations.
(1) Mankind is very territorial. The reason is simple: it's all about food. The size of such a territory had to be just big enough (= enough game). It was determined by experience. Too big meant too much competition with other clans.
(2) It avoided yearly disputes and the occasional casualties.
(3) Each clan knew exactly where to go, was able to prepare for the voyage, knew what dangers lay ahead, how to overcome obstacles, etc.
(4) It allowed more investment in the local huts or shelters. In some places mammoth tusks were collected to build those huts. Mammoth tusks are very heavy. Sometimes they had to be carried by at least 2 men over kilometres. Not something you would do for just one summer. Wood was scarce in the steppe and needed for fuel. Such huts have been found.
(5) Efficient hunting depends upon a good knowledge of the territory. This knowledge was acquired over the years.