•   
  •   

Tech & Science A 15,000-Year-Old Trap For Catching Woolly Mammoths Has Been Discovered In Mexico

20:50  08 november  2019
20:50  08 november  2019 Source:   gizmodo.com.au

Luke Burgess refuses to comment on retiring brother Sam's intimidation charge

  Luke Burgess refuses to comment on retiring brother Sam's intimidation charge Ex-NRL player Luke Burgess had nothing to say about his brother Sam's intimidation charge or the Rabbitohs star's shock retirement, as he left a resort in Mexico. Luke Burgess was spotted leaving the resort of Cabo San Lucas, where little brother Sam has been seen partying in recent days. © Nine Luke Burgess at Cabo airport in Mexico following brother Sam's intimidation charge. There been no sign Sam since revealing his shock retirement from the NRL due to injury.The news came just hours before he was charged with intimidation over an alleged confrontation with his father-in-law, Mitchell Hooke.

a elephant that is lying down in the dirt: Mammoth skull and tusks found in the pitfall. (Image: Edith Camacho, INAH.)© Image: Edith Camacho, INAH. Mammoth skull and tusks found in the pitfall. (Image: Edith Camacho, INAH.)

Archaeologists working at a site near Mexico City have unearthed a 15,000-year-old trap built by humans to capture mammoths, in what’s the first discovery of its kind.

Early settlers of the Mexico Basin subdued giant mammoths by digging out deep, wide trenches and then driving the animals into the pits, according to a press release issued by Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). Scientists with INAH worked at these pits for the past 10 months, pulling out over 800 mammoth bones, some of which exhibited signs of hunting and possibly ritualistic rearrangement.

Trump calls for 'war' against Mexican drug cartel 'monsters' after Americans murdered in shootout

  Trump calls for 'war' against Mexican drug cartel 'monsters' after Americans murdered in shootout President Trump on Tuesday offered U.S. assistance as he called on Mexico to “wage war” against the country's murderous drug cartel “monsters,” in response to the killing of multiple Americans in a shootout. “If Mexico needs or requests help in cleaning out these monsters, the United States stands ready, willing & able to get involved and do the job quickly and effectively,” Trump tweeted. “The great new President of Mexico has made this a big issue, but the cartels have become so large and powerful that you sometimes need an army to defeat an army!”© FoxNews.

Two mammoth pits, and possibly a third, were found at the Tultepec II site, which is around 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of Mexico City. The bones were discovered this past January by a work crew digging out a municipal landfill. Dating of the sediment places the site to roughly 14,700 years ago. In total, the scientists pulled out 824 bones belonging to 14 individuals.

Aussie shooters earn 15 spots for Tokyo

  Aussie shooters earn 15 spots for Tokyo Australian shooters have earned 15 quota spots for Tokyo's Olympics after Mitchell Iles and Sergei Evglevski won Oceania gold on Friday.Pictures: Most popular sports in Australia

“These are two artificial mammoth traps,” INAH archaeologist and team leader Luis Córdova Barradas told the Yucatan Times. “This is a historic finding, not only [in] the country but in the world, because there have not been other traps of this kind found in any other parts of the world ever.”

By “artificial mammoth traps,” Córdoba Barradas is referring to deliberately constructed traps, as opposed to natural traps such as swamps or cliffs. This is the first recorded use of pitfalls to capture mammoths—a strategy known to have been employed by African hunters to trap elephants, as described in a 2018 paper published in the science journal Quaternary:

The use of pitfalls in elephant hunting is combined with the use of spears. Although the Khwe (Namibia) no longer hunt elephants, their forefathers did hunt them. One farmer quoted a story told by his forefathers, describing the use of pitfalls with sharp objects in them.

Scientists invented metal that refuses to sink

  Scientists invented metal that refuses to sink If you're trying to build something that won't sink, making it out of metal seems like a terrible idea. We make boats and ships out of metal because it's sturdy and lasts a long time, but it weighs a lot and, if something goes wrong, there's nothing stopping it from sinking to the bottom. Researchers from the University of Rochester have come up with a potential solution. It's a metal that absolutely hates water, strongly repelling it and creating pockets of air that allow the metal to float under just about any circumstance.Its inventors believe it could revolutionize ship design and create truly unsinkable boats.

The use of pitfalls is also [documented among the] early Ghanzi bushmen, and...the Ituri forest pygmies in Congo [who] captured an elephant in a pitfall and killed it using short stabbing spears.

The mammoth hunters of the North American Pleistocene may not have hunted their gigantic prey in this exact manner, but these more modern accounts may not be too far off.

a drawing of a person: Artist’s depiction of a pitfall used to hunt elephants in Africa. (Illustration: Dana Ackerfeld/A. Agam et al., 2018/Quaternary)© Illustration: Dana Ackerfeld/A. Agam et al., 2018/Quaternary Artist’s depiction of a pitfall used to hunt elephants in Africa. (Illustration: Dana Ackerfeld/A. Agam et al., 2018/Quaternary)

The traps at Tultepec II were roughly 1.7 meters (5.5 feet) deep and around 25 meters (82 feet) in diameter. The walls were a sheer cliff, dropping off at a near 90-degree angle. The human hunters would have had no problem finishing off a mammoth trapped in such a hole.

Córdoba Barradas estimated that around 20 to 30 hunters were needed to separate a mammoth from its herd and steer it toward the pits, which the hunters could have done using torches and sticks. Theses pits were organised as a “line of traps,” a “strategy that would allow hunters to reduce the margin of error in capturing the specimen,” according to the INAH press release.

Researchers didn't think humans attacked woolly mammoths – until they uncovered a trap in Mexico

  Researchers didn't think humans attacked woolly mammoths – until they uncovered a trap in Mexico Woolly mammoth bones found in Mexico prove that hunters actually attacked the mammal, instead of waiting for them to dieThe 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 archaeology at INAH, told reporters on Wednesday.

“There was little evidence before that hunters attacked mammoths. It was thought they frightened them into getting stuck in swamps and then waited for them to die,” Córdoba Barradas told reporters on Wednesday, as reported in the Guardian. “This is evidence of direct attacks on mammoths. In Tultepec we can see there was the intention to hunt and make use of the mammoths.”

a cow sitting in front of a stone building: Image: Edith Camacho, INAH.© Image: Edith Camacho, INAH. Image: Edith Camacho, INAH.

Indeed, the discovery shows that the hunting of mammoths wasn’t just some chance encounter with a stray individual, as is often depicted in artistic recreations. In this case, it took social coordination and the manipulation of the environment to pull it off, according to the INAH.

The remains of eight mammoths were found in the first two pits and six in the suspected third pit. In total, the INAH archaeologists found five jaws, eight skulls, 100 vertebrae, 179 ribs, 11 shoulder blades, five humerus (the long leg bone), and many smaller mammoth remnants.

Some of the remains exhibited signs of hunting, such as a spear wound on the front of a mammoth skull. Evidence was also uncovered suggesting the ribs were used as cutting implements and that leg bones were used to shave off subcutaneous fat. Fascinatingly, the mammoth skulls were all positioned upside down, which may have been done to gain easy access to the delicious 12-kg (26-pound) brain inside, the INAH archaeologists speculated.

Researchers didn't think humans attacked woolly mammoths – until they uncovered a trap in Mexico

  Researchers didn't think humans attacked woolly mammoths – until they uncovered a trap in Mexico Woolly mammoth bones found in Mexico prove that hunters actually attacked the mammal, instead of waiting for them to dieThe 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 archaeology at INAH, told reporters on Wednesday.

a group of people standing next to a body of water: The Tultepec II site near Mexico City. (Image: Edith Camacho, INAH.)© Image: Edith Camacho, INAH. The Tultepec II site near Mexico City. (Image: Edith Camacho, INAH.)

Also, some of the mammoth bones seem to have been deliberately re-positioned, as if for a ritualistic purpose. One mammoth had its shoulder blade stacked and positioned to the left of its skull and a segment of its spinal column laid between its tusks, while the tusks of a second mammoth were carefully arranged nearby. Interestingly, one of this mammoth’s tusks was shorter than the other, suggesting it was growing back after a prior injury. The INAH archaeologists guessed the hunters had targeted this mammoth before, and this layout of its remains was a sign of respect or some kind of elaborate ritual.

That’s obviously a big inference to make, and we should point out that all of these findings and conclusions have yet to be scrutinised by peer reviewers and published to a scientific journal.

Weirdly, no left shoulder blades were recovered at the site—only the right ones. The archaeologists aren’t sure why, but a possible ritualistic or cultural explanation may account for this strange observation. The researchers also found evidence of a camel and a horse at the site, but with no direct evidence of hunting or butchering.

Córdoba Barradas and his colleagues say the geological evidence points to continuous usage of the site for over 500 years. If that’s true, more remains are likely in the area, which is a very exciting prospect indeed. Hopefully further evidence of these remarkable pitfalls will tell us even more about how the first settlers of North America managed to subdue these enormous beasts.

Scientists find human footprint in a mammoth track using 3D radar .
The tracks found in White Sands National Monument date to 12,000 years ago.The team used ground-penetrating radar, which has been used to discover more stones near Stonehenge, to investigate the movements of mammoths, humans and giant sloths from 12,000 years ago. These tracks are normally difficult to see unless conditions are perfect. The researchers refer to them as "ghost tracks.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

usr: 1
This is interesting!