A gate is the entrance to the heavily fortified village of Phu, located 4,000 meters (13,100 feet) above sea level in Nepal. Researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and colleagues were there in March to reconstruct when and why Tibetans first constructed this settlement.
The Tibetan plateau is warming rapidly. Understanding how Tibetans have created social adaptations to past changes in climate is crucial to informing a rapidly changing future, said Scripps anthropologist Jade D’Alpoim Guedes, a participant in the expedition. The scientists gathered samples from present day and abandoned structures to attempt to reconstruct how climate change impacted where ancient Tibetans were able to practice farming and graze their pastoral animals.