Beijing, Nov 22: A new study has revealed that humans probably settled on Tibetan Plateau 3600 years ago providing an indication of when humans first settled at high altitudes.
Humans were able to settle permanently as high as 3,400 meters on the Tibetan Plateau, which is known as “the roof of the world,” by growing altitude-resistant crops and raising livestock, the China Daily.
Researchers from China, the United States and Cambridge University in Britain stated that they survived on wheat and barley imported from the Middle East and on transplants from China such as broomcorn and foxtail millet.
A sporadic human presence was detected on the plateau as early as 20,000 years ago, while semi-permanent settlers arrived 5,200 years ago.
Researchers also mentioned that early humans probably first traveled to the plateau to hunt animals, but the discovery of altitude-resistant crops allowed them to put down roots there.
They examined the remains of pigs, sheep and cattle as well as plants at 53 sites across 1,280 km of the northern Tibetan Plateau.
The study is published in the US journal Science.