Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site

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70.72, 135.42
Russian Federation

The Yana Rhinoceros Horn Site (Yana RHS) is an Upper Palaeolithic archaeological site located near the lower Yana river in northeastern Siberia, Russia, north of the Arctic Circle in the far west of Beringia. It was discovered in 2001, after thawing and erosion exposed animal bones and artifacts. The site features a well-preserved cultural layer due to the cold conditions, and includes hundreds of animal bones and ivory pieces and numerous artifacts, which are indicative of sustained settlement and a relatively high level of technological development. With an estimated age of around 32,000 calibrated years before present (cal BP), the site provides the earliest archaeological evidence for human settlement in this region, or anywhere north of the Arctic Circle, where people survived extreme conditions and hunted a wide range of fauna before the onset of the Last Glacial Maximum. The Yana site is perhaps the earliest unambiguous evidence of mammoth hunting by humans.

A 2019 genetic study found that the remains of two young male humans discovered at the site, dating to c. 31.6 ka BP, represent a distinct archaeogenetic lineage, named 'Ancient North Siberians' (ANS).

The Yana RHS site is preceded in Siberia by a few Initial Upper Paleolithic archaeological sites such as Ust-Ischim (with modern human remains, 45,000 years BP), or Kara-Bom (dating to 46,620 +/-1,750 cal years BP), Kara-Tenesh, Kandabaevo, and Podzvonskaya.