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Mammoth traps containing remains of 14 of the giant creatures discovered in Mexico


(CNN) — Archeologists in Mexico have uncovered traps containing the remains of at least 14 mammoths.

The traps date from about 15,000 years ago and were found in the city of Tultepec, Estado de Mexico, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said in a statement published Wednesday.

Tultepec is already home to a Mammoth Museum, which houses an almost complete mammoth skeleton discovered in 2016. The latest discovery will greatly enlarge its collection.

The traps date from around 15,000 years ago.

The traps date from around 15,000 years ago.

Meliton Tapia/AP

“It represents a watershed, a touchstone for how we previously imagined groups of hunter-gatherers interacted with these enormous herbivores,” said Pedro Francisco Sánchez Nava, national archeology coordinator at the INAH.

During 10 months of excavations of the site, which was due to become a landfill, 824 bones have so far been found in traps 5.5 feet deep and 82 feet long.

Archeologists believe the site, in the San Antonio Xahuento district, may be one of a series nearby that reduced the margin of error for hunters.

Groups of 20-30 hunters would use torches and sticks to separate a mammoth from its family and push it into the traps.

Once the animal was trapped it would be killed and used for food and other purposes.

Archeologists found evidence that the rib bones were used to cut mammoth meat, and internal organs were also eaten.

Mammoth skulls were found upside down because the hunters would also eat the animal’s tongue, which would have weighed as…



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