It is for this reason that the first Asian migrants died out in Europe
Once upon a time, between 1.8 and 1.4 million years ago, Homo erectus, a species of ancient man, crossed the borders from Asia to inhabit Europe.
Photo: Openverse by p_a_h is licensed under CC BY 2.0
They lived here, successfully adapting to the environment and extracting the necessary resources. However, by about 1.1 million years ago, these ancient Homo erectus ceased to show signs of life, and the next evidence of the presence of archaic humans in Europe did not appear until about 900 thousand years ago with the appearance of Homo antecessor.
Of interest is the period of about 200 thousand years, which remains poorly studied. A study published in the journal Science offers an interesting explanation for this time gap. Scientists suggest that the period of absence of archaic people in Europe could be associated with a cooling phase of the climate. This assumption is confirmed by the results of analysis of cores of marine sediments off the coast of Portugal.
Analysis of elemental isotopes in the remains of marine plankton and examination of pollen grains from terrestrial vegetation in these cores revealed a sharp cooling event that occurred approximately 1.15 million years ago. For example, water temperatures near Lisbon, which now average around 21°C, have dropped to around 6°C. The scientists also found that around 1.13 million years ago, a steady influx of cold water began, which they interpreted as meltwater from the collapse of Europe’s ice sheets as the continent warmed.
This new study also provides a detailed reconstruction of the time, showing that extreme cooling would have made Europe too cold for our ancestors to inhabit. The cold would make it more difficult to find food, as the number of plants and animals able to survive in such conditions would decrease. In addition, organisms adapted to the temperatures of that time would not have been prepared for such a drastic climate change.