Archeology shock: Bones of 14 butchered mammoths found in epic scientific breakthrough


Mammoth bones have also been found in Mexico City.

Archeologists from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) reported finding the largest-ever body of mammoth remains.

Researchers from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History said Wednesday the pits were found during excavations on land that was to be used as a garbage dump.

Diego Prieto Hernández, director of the institute, said the discovery "represents a watershed, a turning point in what we until now imagined to be the interaction between hunter-gatherers with these huge herbivores". They were uncovered in pits measuring six feet deep and 25 yards in diameter in Tultepec.

The discovery site, called "Tultepec II" has been under excavation for 10 months. Experts say the remains correspond to at least 14 individual mammoths.

Anthropologists in Mexico have unearthed ancient pits used to trap mammoths.

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Groups of 20-30 hunters would use torches and sticks to separate a mammoth from its family and push it into the traps. The holes housed hundreds of 15,000-year-old mammoth bones, leading scientists to deduce that they were purposefully ensnared in the quarry. According to CNN's Guy, the bones of one mammoth were arranged in "symbolic formation", and intriguingly, one of the bones showed signs of a healed fracture.

Speaking to CNN Luis Cordoba, an INAH archeologist, said: "They must have considered it fearless and ferocious, showing their respect with this particular arrangement". Researchers found approximately 800 bones in the two pits, along with the remains of a few horses and camels.

Wooly mammoths, elephant-like creatures that once inhabited nearly every continent, became extinct about 4,000 years ago.

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

Builders working on the capital's metro system in the 1970s found mammoth bones at Talismán station.