Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating and magnetic stratigraphy indicate Upper Paleolithic occupation-probably representing modern humans-at archaeological sites on the Don River in Russia 45,000 to 42,000 years ago. The oldest levels at Kostenki underlie a volcanic ash horizon identified as the Campanian lgnimbrite Y5 tephra that is dated elsewhere to about 40,000 years ago. The occupation layers contain bone and ivory artifacts, including possible figurative art, and fossil shells imported more than 500 kilometers. Thus, modern humans appeared on the central plain of Eastern Europe as early as anywhere else in northern Eurasia.
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