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      I began investigating the evidence in the academic world of the rise of boat-using hunter-gatherers at the end of the Ice Age, its success, and its expansion already before 2000. My purpose was to present available information in relevant sciences of an almost obvious event - human response to the sudden warming of the world climate towards the end of the Ice Age.
    While archeologists knew all about the collapse of reindeer hunting and the conversion to a boat/canoe oriented way of life that was identified as the "Maglemose Culture", by I don't think the significance of this development was understood, since boat use is taken for granted today. While humans could fashion water craft of some kind to cross a body of water, here they were developing a streamlined, thin walled, dugout that not only allowed them to move around in a flooded landscape south of the glaciers, but it in fact allowed them to travel faster than even on open solid ground, and also to access the bounty of aquatic plants and animals previously unaccessible. My feeling that this significance was not realized in the academic world, and that instead of it being just another innovation, it was as dramatic as the invention of horseback riding to the Indo-Europeans.
    By about 10,000 years ago, the world temperature had suddenly, in less than a millenium, warmed from arctic to  similar to what it is today, and then for a while even warmer than today. But the glacier still covered all of Scandinavia and part of northern Russia.  It was like a snowball on a summer's day. Torrents of water were  pouring out of the glaciers, flooding the lands south of the glaciers.  The heat and flooding also ensured one more thing - that there was no more tundra for large arctic climate animals. Mammoths, with their wholly coats were like being dressed for winter on a summer day. They no longer had their proper habitat, other than the mountains of northeast Siberia.
    Other exotic animals that had developed during the Ice Age cold, suffered too and became extinct. It is remarkable that the reindeer survived.   In spite of the loss of its original tundra,  small groups of reindeer (called caribou in North America)  found refuges, in alpine environments. But the enormous north-south migrating reindeer herds were no more, and the reindeer hunters who had been dependent on them lost a tradional way of life and were forced to die as well or adapt. 
    Nor were the lands south of the original tundra spared the dramatic impact of climate warming.  Vast regions formerly grassy plains originally filled with other large herd animals like horses, bison, and aurochs (wild cattle) were now being consumed by forests, particularly towards the west.  The steppes shifted east. Horse herds shifted with the steppes, and horse hunting tribes followed the horse herds.
     South of the horse-hunters there were the southern Europeans that had to deal with the rise of dense forests. Evidence suggests that in the Iberian Peninsula, hunters of wild cattle, advanced to domesticating them

    The story of the boat peoples begins with the response of reindeer hunters in northern Europe to the sudden climate warming and flooding . The following maps, drawn on a base map derived from the internet (source is given along the bottom of the map), depict the situation. 
     The first map, depicting about 13,000 years ago, is labelled with the archeologically defined "Ahrensburg" and "Swiderian " reindeer hunting cultures that gave birth to the "Maglemose" and "Kunda" boat-oriented cultures.
    My maps also add additional arrows to show the northward shifting of Asian reindeer hunters as well. These Asian reindeer hunters also carried the Y-DNA N-haplogroup in their genes.
(If viewing this on a smartphone, turn sideways to see  images  larger. The source of the base map is introduced along the bottom)
Figure 1

    The Ahrensburg Culture was doomed first, as reindeer were blocked from continuiing north, except that there were reindeer up in Britain, and they survived for a while.  But the Swiderian Culture, being to the east of the glaciers, was able to shift northeast from the Poland location, reached up into Finland. But it did not last long. The climate became like it is today and even warmer. All tundra was gone, and if reindeer survived it may have been in small numbers in the mountains at the north end of the Ural Mountains.
    Reindeer herd and hunter migrations from the Central Siberian Plateau shifted up to the Tamir Peninsula (the eastermost arrow)  According to geneticists, the haplogroup involved there was the N2-haplogroup. (N2 is now N1b, as geneticists make revisions to the naming system) The N2 haplogroup has only relatively recently been diffusing southwest .
    The next map shows the situation a few millenia later.

Figure 2

    The second map above, shows how reindeer herds were doomed, except possibly (we do not know) at the north end o the Ural Mountains, and definitely at the Tamir Peninsula area.  The reindeer were also fine in northeast Siberia. 
     Archeology has found that the "Fosna Culture" (not appearing yet) along the south Norwegian coast probably arose from the Ahrensburg - Maglemose culture, but they have determined that the "Komsa Culture" (also appearing a little later) that appeared at an early time in arctic Norway, appears to have come from the east - which is consistent with the theory I will present in the UIRALA articles, based on rock carving images.. The boat peoples story, you will see, proposes that boat peoples developed skin boats at Lake Onega, and began annual visits to the bounty of sea life in arctic Norway, and the "Komsa Culture" obviously arose when some of these people did not return south for the winter, and stayed there through the winter darkness.
    Mostly, in the above map, I show with blue arrows and blue tone  the mirgation of boat peoples.. I suggest that these boat peoples had no reason to stop. They may - at least eventually - have followed rivers as far as the Lena River.
    Also shown in the second map, are the words R-H remnants. It is possible that there may have been surviving elements of reindeer people, who were hunting individual reindeer, elk, and moose, but who had not yet adopted boats. If so, then these peoples would have quickly joined the culture of the boat peoples.

Figure 3


Rock carving at Shiskino at the upper end of the Lena River. This is proof that peoples with a large dugouts travelled from Ob to Yenisei, to Ankara to the upper Lena Rivers, What is puzzling is the ears. I think they may be wearing headgear made from mooseheads that included its ears, much like modern pyjamas for children that include animal ears. Or it could be a more designed headdress. We have to consider that there people would have needed headgear of some kind.

    The following narrative is taken from archeology; however, we may mention some language or genetic considerations, if they can be made part of the archeological story: but the archeological story rules. Our purpose is to focus on the narrative relating to peoples with a boat-oriented way of life, which is mainly to organize existing knowledge in order to reveal a new perspective, and sometimes insights.
    In the following articles I also address the expansion of boat peoples southward through the waterways.  Information in that direction is  not the subject of discussion, because traditionally the idea presented here - that boat peoples expanded everywhere their boats could take them - has never before been explored.  I also investigate the expansion of the boat peoples into the seas, and investigate whether distant aboriginal sea-hunting peoples have languages that have some resonances with Finnic.

AP 2016.

author: A.Paabo, Box 478, Apsley, Ont., Canada


2016 (c) A. Pääbo.