(View exact match)tundraCATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: An almost treeless region adjacent to polar ice; the region between ice caps and the tree line in lower Arctic latitudes. All but the top few inches of soil are permanently frozen, and so only a few plants can grow - mosses, lichens, sedges, grasses, and stunted shrubs. There are two types: on level or rolling ground in polar regions (arctic tundra) or on high mountains (alpine tundra).
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Baikal NeolithicCATEGORY: chronology; culture
DEFINITION: The Neolithic period of the Lake Baikal region in eastern Siberia. Stratified sites in the area show a long, gradual move from the Palaeolithic to Neolithic stage, starting in the 4th millennium BC. The Postglacial culture was not "true" Neolithic in that it farmed but Neolithic in the sense of using pottery. It was actually a Mongoloid hunting-and-fishing culture (except in southern Siberia around the Aral Sea) with a microlithic flint industry with polished-stone blade tools together with antler bone and ivory artifacts; pointed- or round-based pottery and the bow and arrow. Points and scrapers made on flakes of Mousterian aspect and pebble tools showing a survival of the ancient chopper-chopping tool tradition of eastern Asia have also been found. There was a woodworking and quartzite industry and some cattle breeding. The first bronzes of the region are related to the Shang period of northern China and the earliest Ordos bronzes. The area covers the mountainous regions from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean and the taiga (coniferous forest) and tundra of northern Siberia. A first stage is name for the site Isakovo and is known only from a small number of burials in cemeteries. The succeeding Serovo stage is also known mainly from burials with the addition of the compound bow backed with bone plates. The third phase named Kitoi has burials with red ochre and composite fish hooks possibly indicate more fishing. The succeeding Glazkovo phase of the 2nd millennium BC saw the beginnings of metal-using but generally showed continuity in artifact and burial types. Some remains of semi-subterranean dwellings with centrally located hearths occur together with female statuettes in bone.DryasCATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: A series of cold climatic phases in northwestern Europe, during a time when the North Atlantic was in almost full glacial condition. Dryas I was c 16,000/14,000 BP, Dryas II (Older Dryas) was c 12,300-11,800 bp, and Dryas III (Younger Dryas) was c 11,000-10,000 bp. It is named after a tundra plant. . The increasing temperature after the late Dryas period during the Pre-Boreal and the Boreal (c 8000-5500 BC, according to radiocarbon dating) caused a remarkable change in late glacial flora and fauna.Late Glacial periodCATEGORY: chronology
DEFINITION: The closing stages of the Pleistocene Ice Age, when the glaciers had begun their final retreat and when much of northern Europe was tundra. This period lasted from c 13,000-8500 BC. The substages in northern Europe are the Oldest Dryas (13,000-10,450), the Bølling oscillation (10,450-10,050), the Older Dryas (10,050-9850), the Allerød oscillation (9850-8850), and the Younger Dryas (8850-8300). Cultures of the Late Glacial period include Ahrensburgian, Creswellian, Federmesser, and Hamburgian.PlanoCATEGORY: culture
DEFINITION: Widespread late Palaeoindian tradition in North America from 10,000-7000 BP. In the west, it is characterized by bison hunting and diverse projectile point styles; complexes include Agate Basin, Hell Gap, Cody, and Frederick. The characteristic unfluted leaf-shaped projectile point appears to have developed from Llano and Folsom types. These many styles or types have been identified by such local names as Plainview, Angostura, Milnesand, Agate Basin, and Scottsbluff and their primarily hunting culture may be included in the term Plano. The Plano complex or culture type was a direct descendant from the fluted-blade early American hunters. As the climate moderated, peoples of the Late Plano complex moved north into Saskatchewan and Alberta with the grazing game animals and, by 3000 BC, had reached the Arctic tundra zone in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It is the most recent of the three major Palaeoindian cultures.Pre-BorealSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Pre-Boreal Climatic Interval
DEFINITION: A division of Holocene chronology which began about 10,000 years ago and ended about 9,500 years ago. The Pre-Boreal Climatic Interval preceded the Boreal Climatic Interval and was a time of increasing climatic moderation. Birch-pine forests and tundra were dominant. It is a subdivision of the Flandrian Interglacial and represents the start of the Flandrian.Ushki LakeSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Ushki
DEFINITION: Five sites in Kamchatka, Siberia, with Neolithic levels overlying Upper Palaeolithic. Wedge-shaped cores and sidescrapers have been dated to the early Holocene c 8790 bp. A Dyuktai culture assemblage is dated to c 10,760-10360 bp. The lowest layer is c 14,300-13,600 bp with stemmed bifacial points and perforated stone ornaments. Hearths and a burial were excavated in this level, with red ochre surviving. This is the only Palaeolithic site in Siberia to represent a tundra rather than a forest adaptation.Younger DryasSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: Younger Dryas event
DEFINITION: A stadial of the Weichselian cold stage, dated to between 11,000-10,000 bp. The last glacial recession (13,000-6,000 years ago) was interrupted by this sharp advance. It takes its name from a tundra plant called Dryas octopetala, fossil remains of which are common in deposits of the stadial. It was most evident around the North Atlantic and coincided with an apparent temporary diversion of glacial meltwater from the Mississippi River to the St. Lawrence drainage system. It has been postulated that this discharge of cold, fresh water disrupted the Atlantic Ocean circulation system that warms the North Atlantic.megafaunaSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: mega-fauna
DEFINITION: The large, Ice Age big-game fauna in North America, now extinct. These Late Pleistocene food sources included mammoths, mastodon; giant bison, sloths, camels, and diprotodons. The term also covers extinct larger species of quite small animals, such as giant beavers. The late Pleistocene extinction of megafauna did not occur synchronously nor was it of equal magnitude throughout the world. Considerable doubt exists regarding the timing of the megafaunal extinction on various landmasses. Evidence suggests that the earliest mass megafaunal extinctions occurred in Australia and New Guinea about 30,000 or more years ago. Eighty-six percent of the Australian vertebrate genera whose members weighed more than 40 kilograms became extinct. Much smaller extinction events occurred in Africa, Asia, and Europe earlier in the Pleistocene, removing very large species such as rhinoceroses, elephants, and the largest artiodactyls. Other mass megafaunal extinction events occurred on the Eurasian tundra about 12,000 years ago (affecting mammoths, Irish elk, and woolly rhinoceroses); in North and South America they occurred about 11,000 years ago (affecting a wide variety of species, including elephants, giant sloths, lions, and bears). These extinctions have removed 29 percent of the vertebrate genera weighing more than 40 kilograms from Europe and 73 percent of such genera from North America. Until 1,000 to 2,000 years ago the megafauna of large, long-isolated landmasses such as New Zealand and Madagascar survived. Gigantic birds such as the elephant birds of Madagascar and the moas of New Zealand disappeared in the past few thousand years.podsolSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: podzol, podsol soil, podzol soil
DEFINITION: A soil type characteristic of coniferous woodland, heath, tundra or moorland - leached, acid soils formed under conditions of very cold climate's forest vegetation cover. The fauna produce phenols which are washed into the horizons and disperse the clay/humus complexes. Minerals, humus, and nutrients are washed down the profile and become deposited as illuvial horizons of humus and iron oxides. The latter is often called the 'iron pan'. A bleached, sandy eluvial horizon is left at the top of the profile. Podsols develop naturally in areas of high annual rainfall, but most of the large areas of podsols in the uplands and lowland heaths of the British Isles were probably at least initiated by man's clearance of woodland during the present Interglacial.reindeerSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: caribou
DEFINITION: Arctic deer domesticated in some polar regions, which ranged from Spitsbergen and Scandinavia to eastern Siberia. They are also native to North America and are divisible into two types: the northern, or barren ground, caribou of the tundra and taiga, and the woodland caribou of Canadian forests. Both types of reindeer are game animals valued for meat, hide, and antlers. A number of hunting peoples living in Europe during the later part of the ice ages seem to have specialized in hunting reindeer, for its bones are much more common than those of other animals on these sites. This is true of a few Mousterian levels, but it is almost the rule for Late Palaeolithic sites of the Magdalenian and Solutrean. Reindeer are likely to have lived in large herds, but we do not know whether they migrated widely in western Europe as they do today in the Arctic.taigaSYNONYMS OR RELATED TERMS: boreal forest
DEFINITION: Sub-arctic boreal forest; open coniferous forest in the northern latitudes. Taiga grows on swampy ground that is commonly covered with lichen. It is the characteristic vegetation of the subpolar region spanning northern Eurasia, between the colder tundra zone to the north and the warmer temperate zone to the south.tree lineCATEGORY: geography
DEFINITION: A line marking the point in the Arctic north where trees do not grow because the subsoil is permanently frozen. Proceeding northward or as the elevation increases, the height of the trees gradually decreases while the spacing between them increases until a point is finally reached where the trees give way to tundra, i.e. the tree line.