Over 800 mammoth bones discovered in massive fossil stash in Mexico

Over 800 mammoth bones discovered in massive fossil stash in Mexico

The anthropologists of Mexico have announced that they found two pits dug 15,000 years ago built by humans to trap mammoths.

Early hunters may have herded the elephant-sized mammals into the traps using torches and branches more than 14,000 years ago.

Mexican researchers from the National Institute of Anthropology and History disclosed on November 6 that the human-made pits were found during excavations on the land which was used to be a garbage dump. "This is the largest find of its kind ever made", according to the institute, in a statement. A series of such traps in the area may have increased hunters' mammoth-trapping success rate. Each pit is about 1.7 meters deep and 25 meters in diameter.

The remains of species of horse and camel that disappeared from the Americas were also discovered at the site. These finds showed that early humans hunted mammoths and only attacked them after the huge animal fell in the traps created by the humans. "The herds grew, reproduced, died, were hunted ...they lived alongside other species, including horses and camels", archaeologist Luis Cordoba told journalists.

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It challenges the long-standing belief that humans only attacked mammoths when the opportunity presented itself, such as when a mammoth became trapped in a swamp, Sanchez Nava said in a news release.

The latest discovery suggests, to the contrary, that some of the earliest settlers of the Basin of Mexico used the environment and social organization to systematically hunt woolly mammoths.

It remains unclear whether planned construction of the dump will continue.

824 bones were recovered from the mammoth traps.

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