Human-made ‘mammoth traps’ found at 15,000-year-old site in Mexico

Researchers from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History during an excavation on land slated to be used as a garbage dump in the Tultepec neighborhood just north of Mexico City have discovered ancient traps designed for hunting a woolly

First Ever Discovery of Mammoth Traps Carved by Humans 15,000 Years Ago in Mexico

Mammoth bones have also been found in Mexico City.

Mammoth bones in Tultepec, Mexico.

The scientists from mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) believe that it is possible for the first-ever discovery of a human-made mammoetval.

"[The discovery] represents a watershed, a touchstone on what we imagined until now was the interaction of hunter-gatherer bands with these enormous herbivores", Pedro Francisco Sánchez Nava, national coordinator of archeology at Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, said in a news release.

During 10 months of excavation in the San Antonio Xahuento District in Tultepec, Mexico, 824 bones have been found in the 5.5 feet deep by 82 feet long traps. 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.

Mammoth skulls were found upside down because the hunters would also eat the animal's tongue, which would have weighed as much as 12 kilograms (26.5 pounds), according to the statement. Mammoths, many researchers assumed, were only attacked by humans when hunters happened upon the animals in a compromised position - a mammoth stuck in a swamp, for example.

Tultepec already features a Mammoth Museum, where an almost-complete woolly mammoth skeleton, which was discovered in 2016, is on display. Researchers found approximately 800 bones in the two pits, along with the remains of a few horses and camels.

Woolly mammoth's roamed the Earth tens of thousands of years ago and survived the last ice age .

Builders working on the capital's metro system in the 1970s found mammoth bones at Talismán station. Radar surveys of surrounding mammoth grave sites could reveal the presence of similar traps.

The pits were found when crews were digging in the area to build a garbage dump.

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