The Japan Times, October 16, 1997

Moscow area inhabited at least 22,000 years ago

MOSCOW (AP) Archaeologists have unearthed a 22,000-year-old settlement near Moscow that once was inhabited by early Stone Age hunters of woolly mammoths, a newspaper reported Tuesday.
The excavated dwellings provide the oldest evidence of humans in the Moscow region and are the most northeastern site in the world where evidence of early Stone Age hunters has been found, The Moscow Times said.
It previously had been thought that the region at that time, during the ice age, had been too cold to support human life, Hizri Amirkhanov of the Institute of Archaeology and leader of the dig, told the paper.
Glaciers covered much of Northern Europe and advanced to within 200 km of Moscow, the report said.
The site in Zaraisk, some 200 km southeast of the capital, has yielded the remains of 15 mammoths killed by the hunters, tools and jewelry. The only human remains found so far is an arm bone.
After three years of excavation, the breakthrough came over the summer when archaeologists discovered two round dwellings with roofs made from mammoth bone.
"They were the same size as a modern Soviet kitchen," Amirkhanov was quoted as saying.