Natural Vegetation from 18,000 years ago
During the last Ice Age (Vistula Ice Age), the broad Equator ward advance of domestic ice sheets and glaciers changed and resulted in a far-reaching shift in vegetation belts. The immediate, ice frosted rubble foreland almost became a vegetation-tundra. Soil adapted to conditions in Loess Tundra with sparse, low vegetation of dwarf willow, dwarf birch, sedges, shrubs, herbs and shrubs, as well as goosefoot and sagebrush. This covered much of Central Europe.
Dense, contiguous forest areas were completely absent in Europe and light coniferous forests and deciduous steppes with sagebrush reached as far as North Africa. Small forest islands could only survive in protected, moist flood plains. Subsequently, the very dry Saharan belt ranged 300 - 400 km further south than today and went over into a dry Savanna. The tropical rain forests were confined to lower, less mountainous regions. In North America and Siberia, they became part of the Tundra light boreal forests, which were over 1,600 km further south than today.
In the mountains of Asia, the Steppe areas contained clear stocks of larch, birch and pines. True, dense hardwood forests were only found in areas of South-eastern China. In areas near the ice, basins occurred, such as in the Great Salt Lake, as a result of reduced evaporation, while in the tropical regions existing lakes were much smaller or completely dried up due to droughts.
"Out of Africa" Theory
Homo sapiens in the zoological system belong to the genus Homo, the family of hominids (Ape) and the superfamily Hominoidea (from hominids), great apes and gibbons. Known finds of pre-human (including genera Paranthropus and Australopithecus) have only been discovered in East Africa. However, finds of early humans who had already used tools (H. rudolfensis, H. habilis, H. erectus) are known to come from Europe, East Africa, East Asia and Java. It is disputed how these findings are related. Most researchers assume that the H. erectus, the first "immigrants" travelled from Africa to Java. The H. sapiens neanderthalensis could live in colder regions and remains have been found in numerous places in Europe and western Asia. His time ended some 27,000 years ago. The H. sapien is the only survivor of the genus. Oldest finds date from the Eemian period (from 180,000 to 115,000 years). For example, Vistula Ice Age discoveries demonstrate the presence of H. sapiens in Africa and in Asia Minor. From there, he settled despite rather unfavourable natural conditions in Europe (see Atlas p. 101).
The ages of the two finds each denoted (33,000 and 25,000 years) refer to one of the warmer interim Vistula Ice Age periods.
While broad land bridges in shallow water areas arose from the Vistula Ice Age, they enabled our ancestors to migrate from Asia Minor via the Sunda Islands to South Australia (ancestors of the Aborigines) and on the islands of the South Pacific advance as far as Polynesia. From there, they travelled with simple boats to Hawaii and New Zealand (Maoris), as the last continent of America was colonised from North Asia. Eighteen thousand years ago, what is now Canada, was still blocked by ice. About 14,000 years ago, a huge ice sheet known as the Mackenzie Corridor had then opened up over ice-free North America, between the glaciers in the Rocky Mountains, attracting people to the south, most probably in the footsteps of migratory herds.
M. Felsch, H. Liedtke; Ü: C. Fleming