Archeologists discover 'mammoth traps' with 14 skeletons in Mexican pit

Archeologists discover 'mammoth traps' with 14 skeletons in Mexican pit

Archeologists discover 'mammoth traps' with 14 skeletons in Mexican pit

Even more excitingly, the team believes that this stash is the oldest known example of a mammoth trap or ambush, set by our ancestors over 14,000 years ago.

They represent "a watershed, a turning point in what we until now imagined to be the interaction between hunter-gatherers with these huge herbivores", says the institute's director, per the BBC.

The pits - which are 6 feet deep and 25 yards in diameter - were discovered when the site was excavated to be used as a garbage dump, according to a statement from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History. He had several wound marks, which led researchers to believe that this mammoth was hunted repeatedly over time.

This differs from anthropologists' previous belief that early humans only killed mammoths that were already wounded or trapped.

Groups of about 20 to 30 hunters would scare a mammoth away from the rest of its pack and lure it into the trap with torches.

Not only were the animals eaten, but they were honoured after the hunts.

Scientists hope to continue their fossil forensics at three other sites, where they expect to discover how mammoth hunters employed a row of traps to "reduce their margin of error", Hernández said. The bones are likely the remains of at least 14 mammoths.

After finally achieving their goal, they arranged its bones in a symbolic formation. Researchers found approximately 800 bones in the two pits, along with the remains of a few horses and camels.

Further research is needed to determine whether there are more mammoth traps nearby.

The land where the ancient pits and trapped mammoths were found is located in the neighborhood of Tultepec, a few miles north of Mexico City.

Mammoth bones in Tultepec, Mexico.

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