The date of the first permanent human occupation of the high Tibetan Plateau has been estimated at about 3600 years ago, when agriculture became established. Meyer et al. used several dating techniques to analyze sediments at a high-altitude site (4270 m) where human handprints and footprints have been found. Their analysis indicates occupation of the plateau 7400 years ago and possibly earlier. These dates are consistent with the genetic history of Tibetans and suggest that a permanent preagricultural peopling of the plateau was enabled by the wetter regional climate at that time.
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