Prehistoric Archaeological Site Of Arctic Region – Zokhov Island

Zokhov Island
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Hello friends, welcome to history and Mythology. Today we are going to discuss a phenomenon called Did humans ever lived on any of the earth’s Pole? Miles of thick ice, stronger wind, and darkness of six months out of 12 months, make this place non-habitable. Then how can we even think and say that poles were habitable once?

The Zhokhov Island

Recently research team of Russia has studied the Zhokhov site which is located in the high-latitude Arctic. Researchers discovered the remains of an ancient people here, the Zhokhov site, considered the earliest evidence for human habitation in the High Arctic.

Researchers believe 25 to 50 people permanently resided in the area around 9300 to 8600 years ago. In the remote past, Zhokhov island was a part of the vast plain formed due to drastic sea-level drop during the last glacial maximum. Because of the post-glacial sea-level rise, this plain was flooded and eroded.

At present, the Zhokhov site is located in the southwestern part of the modern Zhokhov island, near the foot of a 120-meter hill, which shields it from the severe northwest wind. This place was very convenient for ancient people. The hill served as an observation point, and because of the proximity to the coast, they always had a supply of driftwood carried in by the tide.

But now, here is the biggest question, how these ancient people could live in such an opposite environment? Or in ancient times the temperature was much moderate and milder in this area. Let’s try to investigate it.

How can any place become favourable for life?

The first and foremost condition is the climate in terms of temperature. If the temperature of any place remains mild and moderate, then it helps in mobilizing the elements that meet the needs of life. If somehow we can prove that in ancient times the climate was suitable for life in the Arctic region, we might be able to solve the mystery.

In the past, there were certain astronomical conditions that occurred in space that made this place’s climate much milder and moderate than today.

Earth Axial Tilt

At an obliquity of 0 degrees, the two axes point in the same direction; i.e., the rotational axis is perpendicular to the orbital plane. Earth’s obliquity oscillates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees on a 41,000-year cycle; Earth’s mean obliquity is currently 23°26′12.3″ (or 23.43676°) and decreasing. Decreasing means more chances for Ice Age. Increasing means fewer chances of the Ice age when obliquity is maximum (24.5) then poles were exposed maximum to the sun that means the high temperature on poles.

Earth own axial Precession

Earth Precession

Precessional movement of Earth. Earth rotates (white arrows) once a day around its rotational axis (red); this axis itself rotates slowly (white circle), completing a rotation in approximately 25,772 years. If we look into the below picture, we can see that 10000 AD earth poles will be maximum exposure to the sun. So approximately 12000-13000 BC earth was in the same condition where poles were maximum exposure to the sun.

Earth Eccentricity

Earth Eccentricity

The Earth’s rotation around its axis and revolution around the Sun evolve over time due to gravitational interactions with other bodies in the solar system. Eccentricity is, simply, the shape of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. This constantly fluctuating, orbital shape ranges between more and less elliptical (0 to 5% ellipticity) on a cycle of about 100,000 years.

These oscillations, from more elliptic to less elliptic, are of prime importance to glaciation in that it alters the distance from the Earth to the Sun. When the Earth’s orbit is most elliptical the amount of solar energy received at the perihelion would be in the range of 20 to 30 percent more than at aphelion. At present, the orbital eccentricity is nearly at the minimum of its cycle.


Above astronomical conditions explains

  • In Past Exposure of the poles towards Sun was maximum(By having maximum tilt angle and maximum precession)
  • Earth had the shortest orbit where the Earth received maximum radiation from the Sun which helps the earth temperature to become mild and moderate and more favourable for habitation.
  • These effects created the Inter-Glacial period on Earth.
  • Last Glacial period must have closed and the Post-Glacial commenced at about 10,000 years ago, or 8,000 B.C. at the best, and the freshness of the Siberian fossil-deposits favors this view.

The below image explained the temperature rising at poles in the past. When the temperature rises the thickness of the Ice reduced and that happens in a very short span of time. So approximately 8000 BC temperature came to its maximum position which is the same as of today. These long glacial periods were separated by more temperate and shorter interglacials.

We can see that the duration of human habitation on Zhokhov island from the Russian research is almost the same as the time which is calculated above by studying of gravitational and earth rotational behavior of earth.

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