Evidence from Predmosti, in the Czech republic - a large fragment of bone was placed in a dog's mouth shortly after burial - some 27,000 years ago. Picture: Mietje Germonpre.
” After hunting them for at least a million years, humans suddenly became really good at killing woolly mammoths, but modern humans haven’t been able to figure out just how they did it. A new theory suggests that, maybe, man’s best friend played an important role.
In central Europe and north Asia, there are massive mammoth graveyards dating back to 44,000 years ago, with tens of thousands of mammoth bones, some arranged in geometric patterns and some arranged into huts, found with stone tools and evidence of people. There wasn’t however, any evidence of how they were killing the shaggy ancestors of today’s elephants.
In an article titled “How do you kill 86 mammoths?,” Penn State anthropologist Pat Shipman theorizes that humans’ secret weapons may have been dogs.
While combing through the literature about the mammoth megasites, Shipman found that none of the usual big-mammal slayers seemed like plausible explanations for a mass mammoth die-off.”
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” In Berelekh – in the north of Siberia’s Sakha Republic – are more than 160 of the tusked goliaths.”
Picture: P. Lazarev, The Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk
” ‘ One of the greatest puzzles about these sites is how such large numbers of mammoths could have been killed with the weapons available during that time,’ she said.
Theories on such ‘mammoth megasites’ have included floods washing bones to a certain spot or herds that fell through thin ice. But they seem to date to 44,000 years ago, around the time modern humans emerged.
She found that ‘few of the mortality patterns from these mammoth deaths matched either those from natural deaths among modern elephants killed by droughts or by culling operations with modern weapons that kill entire family herds of modern elephants at once’.
The professor concluded in her research, outlined in Quaternary International, that the mammoths were killed in the same spot for many generations. ‘There’s something that’s drawing them to that location,’ she said.
She believes the sites may have been on migration routes in spots where early humans and their domesticated dogs could attack.”
and The Siberian Times