It is "The greatest discovery of its kind" never done according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) of Mexico. The skeletons of fourteen mammoths were found in Tultepec, a locality in the state of Mexico in the center of the country, about 45 kilometers from the capital, INAH reported.
According to the researchers, this find could be the first human-made trap to capture missing mammals. The discovery represents a turning point in understanding the relationship between hunter-gatherer bands and mammoths, said Pedro Francisco Sanchez Nava, the institute's national archeology coordinator, in a statement translated by The New York Times.
The bones were found in two large pits approximately 1.5 meters deep and 25 meters long, probably excavated 15,000 years ago. Eight skulls, five jaws, 100 vertebrae, 179 ribs, 11 shoulder blades and five humeruses were found in addition to many femurs, shins and other small bones.
Evidence that men were attacking mammoths
Paleontologists estimate that at least five herds of mammoths lived in this area, where men, bison and other animals also lived. Previously, there was little evidence that hunters were intentionally attacking these gigantic animals.
"We thought they were scare the mammoths to block them in swamps, and waited for them to die, says Luis Cordoba Barradas of INAH at Guardian. This is evidence of a direct attack on mammals. According to him, further research could reveal other pitfalls.
Adam N. Rountrey, in charge of the collection of the University of Michigan's Museum of Paleontology, finds the discovery "Quite interesting". There are many large sites in Eurasia and North America that indicate that humans have exploited carcasses, "There were debates about whether the remains were those of animals hunted or dead naturally", he says at New York Times.
This is not the first discovery in Mexico in this area. In the 1970s, during excavations required by the construction of the Mexico City metro, the remains of a mammoth had been exhumed in the north of the capital.
See also: Strasbourg: a mammoth skeleton standing in front of the cathedral
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