Primitive Humans Trampled Environment, Study Finds

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The idea that primitive hunter-gatherers lived in harmony with the landscape has long been challenged by researchers, who say
Stone Age humans in fact wiped out many animal species in places as varied as the mountains of New Zealand and the plains of
North America. Now scientists are proposing a new arena of ancient depredation: the coast.

In an article in Friday’s issue of
the journal Science, anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Oregon cite evidence of sometimes serious damage by early inhabitants along the coasts of the Aleutian Islands, New England, the Gulf of Mexico, South Africa and California’s Channel Islands, where the
researchers do fieldwork.

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