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Mammoth trap discovered in Mexico

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  • Mammoth trap discovered in Mexico

    This is an awesome discovery .
    TN formerly CT Visit our store

  • #2
    Cool article, Matt! I would have liked to have witnessed a mammoth hunt! Wonder what they tasted like?
    Child of the tides


    • #3
      Maybe they herded the whole herd right off a cliff? That’s one big barbecue if that’s what they did..
      Digging in GA, ‘bout a mile from the Savannah River


      • #4
        I've read a couple of interesting articles in Spanish, but still no pictures of associated relics... Interesting how some of these kills in Mexico appear to have been made with bone tools and simple flake scrapers. Not Clovis, nor any of the thick bodied paleo points.

        The area was a swampy area with shallow lakes in Pleistocene times. The mammoths could have been "driven" into the mud where they were stuck and easier to kill. Some of the discussion is if this was a single event or multiple events that took advantage of seasonal conditions.

        The date is pretty cool, these are under the ash of a well know volcanic eruption that left a bed of ash, so quite old.
        Hong Kong, but from Indiana/Florida


        • #5
          Can’t wait for the full report. But, in the meantime, snippets of further information are emerging. There is some caution being expressed by researchers not involved in the excavations since there has been no peer review of the claimed findings. Nevertheless, the excavation leader is saying:

          - There are two traps at the site, each measuring 82 feet long and 5.5 feet deep. They appear to have been deliberately excavated from the clay that once lined Lake Xaltocan, since some of the walls are characterised by steep vertical cuts. It’s speculated that the clay shoreline was exposed when the lake receded and provided an easy terrain for large-scale digging.

          - It’s believed that these two traps may have formed part of a chain of traps as a hunting strategy and that there are others still to be discovered.

          - So far, 824 mammoth bones, including 8 skulls have been recovered, corresponding to at least 14 mammoths, plus some camel and horse (ancestor) bones. The mammoth skulls had been flipped upside down, perhaps to recover the tongue meat.

          - Butchery and other marks suggest that the bulk muscle may have been cut away from the carcasses using tools made from mammoth ribs. One bone seems to have been used as a ‘polishing’ tool; perhaps for stripping fat from hide.

          - Only right hand shoulder blades have been found. They’re pondering on what happened to the left hand ones and whether there might be some ritual explanation.

          - One of the mammoths had an old healed fracture. Given that this mammoth’s bones had been arranged in what was described as a ‘symbolic formation’, there is speculation that this mammoth had escaped a previous attempt to trap it and was accorded some respect when it was ultimately trapped.
          I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.


          • Cecilia
            Cecilia commented
            Editing a comment
            Please speculate more specifically how trap worked!

          • painshill
            painshill commented
            Editing a comment
            The researchers involved in the excavations speculate that groups of hunters (in the region of 20-30 people) progressively 'herded' mammoths towards the pits and likely used burning torches to frighten them in that direction. The fleeing panicked mammoths then fell into the dug pits which were too deep and with sufficiently steep walls that they couldn't escape and could then be killed with spears. There's no evidence (yet reported) of lithic points, so perhaps the spears were no more than long sharpened poles. They claim this contrasts with other mammoth traps which were essentially natural features such as swamps, into which mammoths were driven and left to die before being scavenged.

          • Cecilia
            Cecilia commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you. Am just little pleased that my wandering wonder occasionally has pathway!